Something very important I learned about spices
Recently I was making a dinner recipe from one of my favorite cooking blogs. I wish I could remember what the recipe was but all I know is I pulled the oregano off the spice rack to shake into the pot and when I sniffed the jar it smelled terrible! I sniffed it again. Then again. Yuck. There was a faint oregano smell underneath, yes, but something was not right. Somehow my oregano went bad.
Even an internet search failed me on this one. Dried spices should last for at least a few years. I couldn't figure it out.
I thought about it for two or three weeks, long after I'd thrown that oregano away and brought home a new jar from Wal-Mart.
Then the same thing happened with my jar of thyme. Thyme is one of my favorite spices to season chicken. We eat a lot of chicken because it's an inexpensive meat. I know what thyme is supposed to smell like. And this jar of thyme smelled bad.
But this time I think I know what happened. It was mildew. The jars of spices smelled like mildew. Out of pure laziness I shook the oregano and thyme straight from the jar into a steaming pot and that must have allowed moisture into the jar, which caused the spices to mildew.
From now on I will not be doing that. Lesson learned!