Steenbergs recently held a competition to find the oldest spice in their customer’s cupboards was both entertaining and revelatory. Steenbergs began 11 years ago, but in terms of oldest spices even the first ones sent out in 2004 would have been mere babies compared to the competition winners.
Spices are a fantastic, low sugar, no carb way to add taste to the diabetic diet without raising blood sugars. In this competition, there was no particular spice that was sitting in everyone’s cupboard unloved, jars and packets filled with everything from dill seed, coriander, rosemary, cloves, pickling spice and garam masala: some of which hadn’t even been opened, although they were over 30 years old. The overall winner was a jar of Garam Masala from 1984, although the actual oldest was the ultimate in store cupboard neglect – Pickling Spices from 1975, costing 19p!
According to the findings a while host of people had cupboards full of spices which they’d bought prior to ‘best before’ dates came into being. ‘Best before’ dates are just for guidance, as opposed to the ‘use by’ dates but spices do lose their essential oils once they are milled, so ground spices and blends of these will lose their smell and flavour much more quickly than whole spices. Steenbergs recommends an optimal shelf life of no more than 2-3 years so that the delicate flavours don’t have time to fade.
This news item first appeared in Desang Diabetes Magazine, our free-to-receive digital journal. We cover diabetes news, diabetes management equipment (diabetes kit) and news about food suitable for a diabetic diet. Go to the top of this page to sign up – we just need your email address.