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RonC

Shelf Life of Nutmeg and Peppercorns

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I have some pretty good references for shelf lifes of many spices, etc., but none of them are specific to whole nutmeg or peppercorns.

Anyone want to jump in here --- or have another reference?

Thanks,

Sidecar Ron

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I think the shelf life of whole nutmeg is pretty indeterminate sealed in an airtight jar.

I hesitate to say nutmeg lasts forever. But, pretty darn close.

Whole black peppercorns do lose a bit of their zing after while, especially if they get warm. Maybe a year or so?


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Penzey's does not have a specific recommendation for peppercorns and nutmeg. However, they do state that whole spices should last two years without losing much (if properly stored), as opposed to ground spices, which only last one year.

Their catalog says the govenment guidline is 4 years for whole and 2 years for ground. I think that is a bit too long.


Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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Thanks much! Guess we'll keep using our 3-year old nutmet 'till it's used up or we can't taste it any more and (since we use a goodly (or is that "godly") amount of pepper) I'll probably get a pound rather than just 8 oz.

Eat well

Sidecar Ron (an "eating member" of what he affectionately calls the "French Chef Motorcycle Gang" - Pierre, Jean, Patrick, Marcel, etc.)

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If you keep your spices in clear containers on the kitchen counter, probably 2 years would be the limit even for whole spices.

For spices that you normally don't use more of an ounce per year, but want to have on hand, why not keep them whole brown glass or tin, in a cool, dark pantry? I think you'll find well-stored 3 year old whole nutmeg preferable to year-old ground nutmeg that has been exposed to heat and light.

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Yes, essentially all our spices are kept in clear glass bottles in a cabinet that is not above a heat source.

Eat well,

Sidecar Ron

If you keep your spices in clear containers on the kitchen counter, probably 2 years would be the limit even for whole spices.

For spices that you normally don't use more of an ounce per year, but want to have on hand, why not keep them whole brown glass or tin, in a cool, dark pantry? I think you'll find well-stored 3 year old whole nutmeg preferable to year-old ground nutmeg that has been exposed to heat and light.

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