FEASTING: Spiceologist Shares the 10 Commandments of Spice

Feasting is a column dedicated to cooking, grilling, eating and discovering what’s on the menu across America and the world.

SpiceologistHow well do you know the spices in your kitchen? Whether you don’t use them often because they’re stashed away in a cupboard or you tried a spice once for a recipe and never experimented with it again, you might be letting some pretty amazing flavors go to waste. So we caught up with the experts at Spiceologist to bring you the 10 Commandments of Spice.

Launched in 2013 by executive chef Pete Taylor and food blogger Heather Scholten, Spiceologist is one of the most innovative spice companies in the world. With a passion for 100% natural blends of spices and rubs that are gluten, dairy and soy free, they create new and exciting flavors that work for so many delicious meals, whether you want to spice up popcorn or whatever’s sizzling on the grill. Check out the 10 Commandments of Spice below, then head over to Spiceologist to shop for things like Sriracha Mango and Cajun Blue Cheese rubs.

1. Don’t keep your spices buried in your kitchen cabinet. Keep your spices at-hand, organized and ready to cook with. Don’t fall victim to “out of sight, out of mind.”
2. Some spices you just don’t buy dried. Avoid dried parsley, mint or cilantro – unless you admire the taste of dried grass, fresh is best when it comes to those herbs.
3. Don’t store your spices above your oven or stove top. Spices contain essential oils (flavor/aroma), and when they’re heated up, those oils disappear.
4. Keep your spices out of direct sunlight. High intensity light can have the same effects on spice as heat. Look for discoloration, you can usually tell when a spice has been compromised by light.
5. Don’t buy your spices in astronomical amounts. Most spices maintain their flavor/aroma for about two years. Think twice before you buy that 32 ounce container of cinnamon.

Related: Tips and Tricks for Making the Perfect Omelette

1. Old spice is for armpits. For maximum flavor, make sure to replace any ancient spices you may have laying around.
2. Buy whole and grind fresh. Nothing compares to freshly ground nutmeg, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and allspice.
3. Toast/roast your spices for an added flavor dimension. It’s simple: lightly toast your cumin in a sauté pan, cool the cumin completely then grind it up before using.
4. Pick up a cheap coffee grinder, and designate it for spices only. Nothing fancy, just something in that $15 – $20 range.
5. Experiment with flavor, and get creative in the kitchen. Step outside of your comfort zone and try cooking with more exotic spices like galangal, sumac, cardamom or saffron.