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Herbs and Spices are an invaluable addition to the kitchen, fresh herbs and aromatic spices give dishes distinctive taste and exotic aromas.

Fresh herbs are best used fresh. Proper storage will help in prolonging their life.

It is recommended to store fresh herbs in plastic bags in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. Delicate varieties like cilantro and basil should be first wrapped in slightly damp paper towels before they are placed in the bags.

Generally ground spices will retain their best flavor for 1 year. Whole spices may last for 5 years.

To dry herbs, hang them up by their stalks in a dry, cool place. This will help in concentrating the flavors in the leaves, for about a week. Once they are dried they store them in non reactive air tight containers.
Fresh herbs can be stored by freezing. Place the finely chopped herbs in the ice cube tray and fill it with water and freeze. Drop the straight into curries or sauces straight from the freezer. Large quantities of spices can also be stored in the freezer in tightly sealed containers.

Store the dry spices in non reactive air tight containers. Humidity, light and heat will cause the spices to lose their taste.

Whenever possible, grind whole spices in a coffee grinder just prior to using, for much better flavor.

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