Technically, ground spices don’t spoil. However, their potency and ability to flavor dishes diminish over time. Check the color and take a whiff —if the color isn’t as bright and the smell isn’t as strong, the spices are no longer fresh.
As a general rule, unopened bottles last a good three to four years, while opened packs should be used within six to nine months. Heat and light can cause ground spices to lose flavor faster, so avoid placing them near your stove and under direct light. Keep the bottles sealed tightly in a cool, dark place. Finally, use only dry spoons when scooping them out.
Tip of the Week: How to Store Your Spices Properly
Photography by Miguel Nacianceno; Text by Trinka Gonzales appeared in the July 2015 issue of Yummy magazine