Posts Tagged ‘oldest spice’

Can you beat 1975? Steenbergs Oldest Spice Competition returns

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Following the success of last year’s Oldest Spice Competition, Steenbergs will once again be encouraging everyone to purge their store cupboards in March, in search of the UK’s oldest spice.

#oldestspice overall winner15Last year our winner was a jar of Sainsbury’s Pickling Spices from 1975 costing a mere 19p.  Throughout March Steenbergs is hoping to brush the dust off a few more jars, with the incentive of winning £50 worth of fragrant, aromatic Steenbergs spices to restock the lucky winner’s cupboard.

“We were amazed with the response to our competition last year,” says Sophie Steenberg, who founded Steenbergs with her husband Axel in 2003. “It encouraged people to revisit their spices and add a little something extra to their cooking again.  If people are ever unsure what to do with a half opened jar, we’ve got lots of exciting new recipes on our website to tickle all taste buds.”

“The best way to store spices is in a cupboard away from light and heat but it can be easy to forget about them,” adds Axel. “Here at Steenbergs we pack our herbs and spices into glass jars with tight fitting lids to keep the flavour in and maximise the shelf life, but ideally 2-3 years is the optimal shelf life to make sure that the delicate flavours don’t fade.

To enter the competition, just photograph the jar and send to Steenbergs via email, Facebook or Twitter before Thursday 31st March.  Full details can be found at: spice prize

So search out that celery salt and dust off that dill seed to be in with a chance of winning £50 of fresh, fragrant Steenbergs spices.

40 years on the shelf! The winner of our #oldestspice competition was… Pickling Spice from 1975

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Our recent competition to find the oldest spice in your cupboards was an illuminating competition with some fascinating entries. We knew it had to be based on something with a dateline – so we plumped for best before dates which came in, in the 1970s and 1980s. Steenbergs began 11 years ago, but in terms of oldest spices even the first ones we sent out in 2004 would have been mere babies, compared to the competition winners.

There was no particular spice that was sitting in everyone’s cupboard unloved, with jars & packets filled with everything from dill seed, coriander, rosemary, cloves, pickling spice and garam masala: some of which hadn’t even been opened although they were over 30 years old.
Sue’s tarragon from December 1994 & Camilla’s vintage Safeway sage from August 1995 were strong contenders until the entries from the 1980s started coming in.

Our first winner was a Garam Masala from 1984, actually a month before Aga, our head of customer service & dispatch was born.

Aga was born a month before this spice was best before.

Aga was born a month before this spice was best before.

Our second winner was the ultimate in store cupboard neglect – pickling spices from 1975, costing 19p! There were also spices from the 1960s in groovy packaging – although sadly undated and a whole host of people with cupboards full of spices before best before dates came into being.

Best before dates are guidance, as opposed to the use by dates. However spices do lose their essential oils once they are milled so ground spices and blends of these will lose their smell and flavour much quicker than whole spices. We would recommend an optimal shelf life of 2-3 years so that the delicate flavours don’t have time to fade.

Each winner received a re-useable Steenbergs jute bag filled with £50 worth of delicious, aromatic spices, just waiting to tickle their taste buds. Inspiration for dishes can always be found at and we’d love to hear about your tasty recipes too.

One of the bags of Steenbergs goodies for the winners.

One of the bags of Steenbergs goodies for the winners.

We had such a great response to our campaign that we’re looking to run our #oldestspice competition as an annual event.
So look out in March 2016 for Spring Clean your Store Cupboard Month!