Coriander is a spice that consists of whole or ground coriander seeds. The coriander plant is also known as cilantro. The ground seed is much easier to use, but has a considerably shorter shelf life than whole seeds.
How you store your coriander can have a significant impact on how well it resists spoilage. The right storage methods can help you to keep your coriander fresh for a long time.
Use airtight containers
You should store whole and ground coriander seeds in airtight containers to protect them from moisture and light as well as from air and high temperatures. When stored properly, whole coriander can keep for as long as a year and ground coriander can keep for two to six months.
Exposure to air is a major factor in the deterioration of your spice’s flavor and shelf life, especially when it comes to ground spices. Ground spices have a lot more exposed surface area when compared to whole spices. Exposed surface area can cause your spices’ volatile oils to evaporate more quickly, leading to diminished aroma and flavor.
Store in a cool location
Experts suggest storing your coriander at temperatures below 70 degrees. Heat speeds up chemical reactions and can speed up the rate at which volatile compounds evaporate. A higher temperature is likely to result in the evaporation of the coriander’s volatile oils, which means that it will lose its pungency.
Store in a dark location
Light can cause photodegradation, which may result in your coriander losing flavor and aroma. To prevent this, you should store the spice in opaque containers.
Consider storing coriander in the refrigerator
If you decide to store your coriander in the refrigerator, be aware of the problem of moisture. Moisture is the enemy of most ground spices, including coriander and is one of the reasons that your containers should be airtight. Exposure to excessive humidity can cause ground coriander to clump and to lose its flavor and aroma faster. As a result, it is strongly recommended that you do not store coriander for regular use in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Removing the container from the cold environment and opening it can result in condensation forming on the interior of the spice container, which means that your spices will be exposed to moisture.
While you should not store coriander for regular use in the refrigerator, you can store a larger quantity of it there. You can then refill smaller containers from the larger batch and keep those containers at room temperature. This limits the potential for getting moisture into the spice. The refrigerator offers a number of benefits including lack of light and a low temperature.
Alternatively, you can store ground coriander in small resealable bags that you keep in the refrigerator. Use bags that are small enough that you will need one for each dish that you make. This eliminates any condensation issues.
Avoid sprinkling coriander directly from its container into the dish that you are cooking. Steam from the pot can get into the container and condense.
Store coriander in the right part of your kitchen
Store the spice away from any sources of heat like your stove or dishwasher. Instead, keep it in an area that is cool and dry like a pantry or a spice cabinet.