By Joe Johnson
Unlike most foods, spices are blessed with the cell structures necessary to maintain their flavor and aroma for long periods after they have been harvested and packaged, without fear of spoilage. High quality whole spices, dried and stored, have been known to keep for many years and then deliver potent flavor when ground. Here are some basic rules on storing and handling spices that will help protect the flavor of your purchase:
Keep them away from the stove or oven, and don't let them get wet. At the very least, they need to be kept cool and dry. Never store spices or dry rubs near the kitchen range or other source of high heat. Never store the dry rubs in a place where the containers are apt to get wet or leave the package open if the humidity gets high. Caroline's Rub spice creations are packaged in a foil, light impermeable pouch which helps to maintain the freshness of your dry rub purchase. However, you can ensure the fresh quality lasts by keeping your spices and dry rubs somewhere cool and dry. Cool means no higher than 68 F (20 C) and dry is no higher than 60% relative humidity.
Storing your dry rubs and spices in a kitchen cupboard is always better than storing them on a spice rack mounted to a wall.
Use your refrigerator. If possible, cold storage (32 F to 45 F / 0 C to 7 C ) is highly recommended. At 70 to 80 F (21 C to 27 C), some products will lose about 1% of their color every 10 days. At higher temperatures, losses are even more rapid. In cold storage, however, color and flavor loss is reduced to ½% every 10 days allowing you to enjoy your purchase for as long as one year.
No bright lights. Because many of Caroline's Rub creations contain ingredients that are light sensitive (such as paprika), it is best not to expose your spices or dry rubs to direct light sources such as the sun, for extended periods. Always make sure to tightly close the zipper seal on the packaging to ensure your product remains fresh and flavorful.