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Importance of fresh culinary herbs highlighted

Spices should be checked regularly

Using culinary spices that have been lingering in the cupboard for too long could affect the taste of an otherwise perfectly good meal, it has been suggested.

According to Eric Rappaport, writer for the Upper Saucon Patch, dried culinary herbs should be replaced with fresh ones and spices unused for over a year are only taking up space on the rack.

The expert offered some tips on how to determine whether a spice should be thrown out, such as checking its colour - they should be bright, not dull - and smelling them - they should be "rich and fragrant".

"Rub them between your fingers to bring out the natural oils. Inhale deeply. If the aroma is faint the chances are the flavour will be weak as well," Mr Rappaport explained.

Food expert James Vyver recently noted in an article for ABC Canberra that culinary spices can make a tremendous difference to the quality of a meal if they are used correctly, as they bring out the flavours of the ingredients.

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