It's so easy to let a box of dried food migrate to the back of the pantry to, um, mature. And then, next thing you know, you realize you're holding a box of food that's gone through several birthdays. So, how long is too long to keep your ingredients around?
1. You can keep dried pasta for up to two years, as long as it's completely dry in an airtight container. If the noodles are blotchy or have a weird color, throw them away. The color changes can be the result of mold.
2. While milled rice (white, pre-cooked or parboiled) will last pretty much forever so long as it's kept dry, whole-grain rice has oils in its bran layer that go bad after about half a year.
3. If you haven't used your white flour within 6-9 months, put it out to pasture. Just like the rice, whole-grain flour can go rancid and should be tossed out after three months.
4. Swap out the canned goods in your emergency stash every two years.
5. Twenty months is just about enough for olive oil, and that's assuming you're keeping it in a cool place away from sunlight.
6. Bread crumbs last about six months, so long as they're kept perfectly dry.
7. You can test to see if your baking powder is still good by combining some with hot water. If it fizzes, it's still good. Its lifespan is about 6-12 months, depending on how much moisture it's been exposed to.
8. Chocolate bars will last from 4-6 months, although we cannot imagine having that kind of self-control.
9. After a year, your spices will remain safe, but the quality will be noticeably diminished.
10. Sugar, vinegar, vanilla extract, honey, salt, cornstarch and baking soda will never go bad, so hoard away.
Credit: Food52 via Buzzfeed