Proper storage saves flavor of pepper spices


April 06, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

Q: I have heard that spices can lose their flavor over time. How should I store them?

A: Spices should be stored in a very cool, dry and dark space, preferably not near the stove.

McCormick-Schilling's manager of consumer food center, Laurie Wilson, says that spices from the capsicum family, such as sweet and chili peppers lose flavor, intensity and color faster than other spices and can also draw bugs if not stored properly. These spices include cayenne (red pepper), chili powder, paprika, or any blend that contains these.

Q: Can you suggest a way to store clipped newspaper or magazine recipes? My drawerful is exasperating.

A: Try photocopying (or taping) recipes onto a uniform size sheet of 8 1/2 -by-11-inch sheet of paper. This will allow space to make notes and changes.

Divide recipes into separate courses such as hors d'oeuvres, soups, salads, meat, seafood, poultry, vegetables, starches, breads, beverages, breakfast, dessert etc. File these in order in file folders and store in a file cabinet or large cardboard box.

Send your questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or leave your questions by phone by calling Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800 (268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County, 848-0338 in Carroll County). Using a touch-tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6180 after you zTC hear the greeting.

Although personal replies are not possible, questions of general interest will be answered in this column.

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