Which Spices Should You Buy in the Supermarket?

Kathy FitzHenry, founder of Juliet Mae Fine Spices & Herbs, says it’s OK to buy certain spices in the supermarket, while others should be purchased from dealers or independent merchants. Supermarket spices often sit around for a long time, so consider shelf life when buying. Safer bets are nutmeg, clove, allspice, cardamom, and black and white pepper. For spices like coriander, paprika, cumin, and cinnamon, go to a spice merchant with high turnover and a consistent supply, or else you’ll end up with stale spices.

CHOW Tips are the shared wisdom of our community. If you’ve figured out some piece of food, drink, or cooking wisdom that you’d like to share on video (and you can be in San Francisco), email Meredith Arthur and tell us what you’ve got in mind.

See more articles