As you may know, grocery store spice standby McCormick has a nifty web site called Spice Check Challenge, where you can check the age of your McCormick spices. Enter in the code on the bottle (or tin if it’s really old) and the city name (if it’s Baltimore, it’s at least 15 years old) and you’ll (usually) be able to find out what date your spice was manufactured. They say you should replace spices every six months, but in my experience, that’s a tad overzealous. We’ve used spices that are a couple of years old and though they’re less potent, they’re still alright in a pinch.
I tried this when I visited my parents house over the holidays knowing that they had some old spice tins still in the pantry. The winner, from what we could tell, was paprika that was manufactured on June 6, 1982. 1982! I was six at the time!
The tin is still in the pantry and will probably remain there until I die (because I will, of course, inherit it).
Posted in Food and Beverage