Are dried spices dried spices?

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Stopsign32v

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Original poster
Dec 11, 2023
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I'll be honest I've been guilty for a long time of buying the cheapest (often times Great Value) spices possible. But I have always wondered...Are all dried spices equal?

Is $2.00 Great Value Oregano or Smoked Paprika just as good as $9 Fresh Market equal?
 
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There are differences for sure. I am sorta a spice snob. I fresh grind from whole pretty much all my stuff. That said, for bbq rubs probably not critical but for sausage and most cooking I think it is. Red pill or blue?
 
There are differences for sure. I am sorta a spice snob. I fresh grind from whole pretty much all my stuff. That said, for bbq rubs probably not critical but for sausage and most cooking I think it is. Red pill or blue?

No I'm mainly asking for non BBQ cooking. How on earth do you grind your own? Where do you get your dried bases?
 
Red pill it is... LOL. Most dried spices are best preserved in their whole form like black pepper. I buy the berries and grind as needed. I prefer malabar, already told you I'm a snob. I get them all over. Some whole at store, some online. Grind them in dedicated small coffee blade grinder.
https://www.seriouseats.com/taste-test-black-pepper-what-are-differences-in-varieties

Most are available whole, but yeah, like paprika, some cannot be found whole. Want to blow your mind? Try this:
https://www.amazon.com/Hungarian-Pi...vRaJoHOpQ7cmu91gKPH7dSqy0cbBYwyBoCTK8QAvD_BwE

Some "spices" aka herbs are better fresh, like basil. The dried stuff does not even compare.
 
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Red pill it is... LOL. Most dried spices are best preserved in their whole form like black pepper. I buy the berries and grind as needed. I prefer malabar, already told you I'm a snob. I get them all over. Some whole at store, some online. Grind them in dedicated small coffee blade grinder.
https://www.seriouseats.com/taste-test-black-pepper-what-are-differences-in-varieties

Most are available whole, but yeah, like paprika, some cannot be found whole. Want to blow your mind? Try this:
https://www.amazon.com/Hungarian-Pi...vRaJoHOpQ7cmu91gKPH7dSqy0cbBYwyBoCTK8QAvD_BwE

Some "spices" aka herbs are better fresh, like basil. The dried stuff does not even compare.
That paste is interesting. What have you used it in? I could see that in a paprikash.
 
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We get pepper paste from a Mediteranian store, its just like the stuff in the tubes but cheaper and more of it. You can get it with hot peppers or just red pepper, both are good. This jar is 550 grams and cost us 7.99 canadian, or about 0.79 US lol

When i travel i always look for local spices to bring home. We were just in spain and broght back a Sh@& load of paprika for cheap, way better and more fresh than we can get here. Did the same last year when in Hungary.
 

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That paste is interesting. What have you used it in? I could see that in a paprikash.
It's PERFECT in that/that's why I got it. Want to try it in goulash and other stuff but have not yet. Learned of it from a member here. Went looking for the thread but no dice. Heads up CONTAINS SALT.

IMO we're often making stuff we can easily buy at the store, so I want mine to be the absolute best I can make it.
 
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Whenever ive made my own paprika, it always ends up clumping in the jar so i have to push it through a seive. Not that its a problem, just not quite like the professionally processed stuff. Here's the paprika we just brought back from spain, one is sweet and the other spicy and each cost under 1 euro to buy, way cheaper than anything i can buy here.
 

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And when we were in Hungary we also got some local paprika as well as goulash paste, really good stuff.
 

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Missed this thread
I buy most of my spices from organic or co-op stores that have bulk bins. Tends to be higher quality. Do need to sniff the bin as some are not as popular and are aged and past prime.

I read a heads up comparison of cumin some time ago. The expert panel tossed out the popular brands of which great value never made the list. I don't remember the winner, but honestly, the great value meets my needs.

Oregano is spice/herb I periodically grow. Italian, Greek, Mediterranean, and Mexican (not a true oregano). I keep the dried leaves intact and grind as needed

There are differences for sure. I am sorta a spice snob. I fresh grind from whole pretty much all my stuff. That said, for bbq rubs probably not critical but for sausage and most cooking I think it is. Red pill or blue?
I prefer tellicherry black pepper, but my favorite is white pepper. Wife prefers a mixed pepper blend. Read the label on mixed peppercorns. Some substitute white peppercorns with coriander seeds. Not the same. BTW, true white peppercorns are the most expensive and used to be the "pepper" listed in recipes until about the early 1900's when companies learned to change the curve and save a buck and convince us black pepper was the desired product..
 
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I'm heading to Charleston, SC tomorrow with my son. I'm going to look for and hopefully find a nice spice store down there.
 
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