+
General Discussion

Protecting Your Spices From Insect Infestation

gremlinkurst | Sep 15, 202005:14 PM     14

This usually isn't a problem with USP (United States Procured) cooking ingredients, but controls aren't so stringent in other markets...Billy from Idaho can order paprika for a great price online, and he's quite happy with the first dish of Chicken Paprikash that he's made with his online purchase. A couple of weeks later, he assembles all the ingredients needed to make Tex-Mex crispy Tacos, and starts to cook. He's happily adding all the ingredients when, upon adding a healthy dose of Hungarian paprika, he notices that the ingredient...is MOVING; there are WEEVILS or BEETLES in his spice! Everything is ruined! (actually, insects are a healthy source of protein, but gourmands generally frown upon that sort of thing!)

I have noticed a similar problem with bay leaves, thyme, and other whole-grain spices (some powders included). If it smells good, it's a good bet that there are insects that happily agree, much to your pantry's detriment.

Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin («Comino» para nos cosineros Latinos), Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, and other fragrant and flavorful spices attract various insects that may prey upon your seasonings. Here's something that may be a big help: Place all of such newly-purchased spices in a freezer for four days; that will kill any eggs or larvae that may be present (Try not to think about it!). If you routinely practice good kitchen hygiene and cleanliness—and closely examine all new ingredients before purchase—you should not have a problem thereafter.

Happy insect-free cooking!

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving
Entertaining

The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving

by Kristin Donnelly | The best way to cook a stress-free dinner is to think ahead, which is why we've created this comprehensive...

19 Great Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pie
Food and Cooking

19 Great Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pie

by Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy | When the usual pie lineup feels boring and uninspired for your dessert repertoire, you've got to make...

An Ode to 5 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Better from the Package
Food Trends

An Ode to 5 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Better from the Package

by Kelsey Butler | Nostalgia is a factor not to be discounted when it comes to food, and these five holiday staples sometimes...

Better-Than-Homemade Goodies That Can Be Ordered Online
Shop

Better-Than-Homemade Goodies That Can Be Ordered Online

by David Klein | Mail order cookies, cakes, pies, and other sweet treats are better (and more prolific) than ever...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.