Are herbs and spices much of a muchness or should I spend more?

Found 21st Jan 2009
I'm thinking of spending a bit of cash to get my cupboard up to scratch with the most often used herbs and spices - something like the Jamie Oliver cupboard essentials type thing:…480

I want to be able to look at a recipe and think, 'I've got most of that, just need the fresh stuff'
I have a £5 off £25 at M&S and was wondering if it's worth spending a bit more there, with my voucher, or whether it's all a bit of a con and Sainsburys own brand would be just as good? Or even, especially when it comes to Indian food, buying the spices in that section as you get 3 times the amount for the same price?

Any thought would be appreciated.....

P.S Also whilst I'm on the subject was thinking it would be best to keep them in airtight jars and it seems the cheapest way of doing this is by buying the cheapest jam since Moses and then binning it all - but I don't really want to do that. Any suggestions?
Community Updates
Don't know much aout herbs and spices,but i know they deteriorate in strengh the longer you have them. although they shouldn't go off.

Adli are doing spice jars as one of this weeks specials. sorry can't find it on aldi website, it just wants to show future offers.
I guess it depends on what you cook really as to what herbs you will use the most. I cook loads of pasta dishes so I always have basil, bay leaves garlic etc in but I hate oregano so dont I bother with that, it really comes down to what flavours you like too. Fresh herbs are generally best and its really easy to get a small herb garden going in a tub or pot in the garden. As for the best quality I have always found own brand ones to be perfectly fine. Hope this helps.
have you tried the packets of herbs, the ones that make casseroles, shepherd pies and curries?
have you got a local independent health food store? ours sells herbs in plastic bags which they have made up themselves, so are pretty fresh.

have you got a local independent health food store? ours sells herbs in … have you got a local independent health food store? ours sells herbs in plastic bags which they have made up themselves, so are pretty fresh.

please tell me where this shop is :thumbsup: ... oh sorry, not THEM herbs :whistling:
Indian Spices for Indian food :thumbsup:

East End, Natco or Rajah, are the authentic ones.
i mostly use Rajah which is really nice & good value for money like 69p a pack or just tescos or sainsburys own brand ones
I know it is no benefit to buy organic spices or tea, just more expensive.
I've tried my own potted herbs (to a point) but I'm unreliable at these things at best so I need to have convenience or it will all be wasted.

@blackpeppa, yeah I've tried the packets of herbs/flavours but I don't feel satisfied after using them that I've actually done very much - and I'd like to tweak things and actually get used to what the herbs and spices do - adjust to my taste etc. But the health food store sounds ideal. I thought it would be a great idea to have a store that simply sells herbs/spices according to what you need for the week. Even if it was full of machines that you could type the weight required and it would come out in a wee bag. All at reasonable prices and fresh as you like because turnover is immense. Might be a good idea in France, but probably useless here.
bargain surfer;4146183

Indian Spices for Indian food :thumbsup:East End, Natco or Rajah, are the … Indian Spices for Indian food :thumbsup:East End, Natco or Rajah, are the authentic ones.

Yeah I've seen the Natco ones - they even do a huge bag of dried red chillies that look spot on for about 80p - and the cumin/coriander seeds etc. I'll go for them to make up my collection as far as they will take me for sure.

I'll defo check out the Aldi one - if it's the spice rack type thing I saw a while back for about £14 I might start with that and build from there(the spice rack will be binned). I don't mind spending £25 - £30 outright so I can choose any recipe, in any book and simply buy the fresh stuff I need and then go. In the past I've looked at recipes and been put off because a particular recipe requires a couple of things that will cost me about £4 before I start. I think it's psychological.

The question I'm wondering though is - are some spices better than others(except teh indian ones which only makes sense that teh authentic ones would be the best)? If I spent £25 at M&S and got 20% with my £5 voucher would I be getting something better for my money?
An algorithm or calculator that you could use to tell it what kind of fresh ingredients you have that would present you with a decent meal with the least effort would be good too. 'I have 2 sprigs coriander, 2 cloves garlic 1 red chilli etc'

And away it would go and come back with some suggestions - a wee bit more sophisticated than that obviously but I'm slightly drunk.
Post a comment

    Top Discussions

    Top Merchants