Pepper: How long can it be stored

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Joined Jan 10, 2010
Yesterday I received a gift sampler pack of whole black pepper corns from http://www.pepper-passion.com/  (a highly recommended source for pepper) and that started me wondering about how long black and white pepper will keep before losing potency.  Anyone know?
 
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Joined Jun 5, 2009
My understanding for whole peppercorns is that they have no practical expiration date.  They will outlive all of us.

Rich
 
279
26
Joined Jan 10, 2010
My understanding for whole peppercorns is that they have no practical expiration date.  They will outlive all of us.

Rich
Is that true for white pepper as well.  Since the hard, outer shell is removed from white pepper, might it not last quite as long as black peppercorns?
 
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Joined Mar 21, 2008
I buy a pound at a time from Penzey's but I use that in 6 months (I coo mainly for myself, I love black pepper!). A year for whole spices is the general guideline.
 
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Hate to disagree with you Mary, but a year is the generally recommended shelf life for ground spices. Personally, I think that's far too long.

Most whole spices will last two days longer than forever. The entire history of the spice trade is written in that fact. Spice caravans often lasted two to three years before even reaching what we'd now call a wholesaler, and it could be another year before a consumer got them. Didn't affect the quality of the spices.

Once the integrity of the whole spice is compromised, however, loss of potency is relatively rapid, particularly if the spices are stored improperly (as is probably true in most households).

I don't know this, but I would suspect that white peppercorns should be thought of as being compromised, and discarded after a year.
 
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I like to keep things fresh so ground spices are 6 months maximum for me and I buy accordingly. Hard to beat Penzeys prices too.
 
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 In the whole state and at a constant temp. and in a dark cabinet in a glass container or jar. I will say infinity. Once cracked well thats another story
 
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