What's the oldest (dry) spice you have in your spice cabinet?

I have several that have been in there for 2 years or more.

Got some mustard seed that’s probably a good ten years old. No idea if it’s still good or not. Still though, can’t bring myself to throw it away.

I’ll bet I have something at least ten years old. I won’t use it, but I never like to throw those useful little bottles away, even though I won’t use them either.

I’ve got a container of tarragon that I know for a fact is at least 9 years old. It’s still fragrant, so why toss it?

My daughter is almost 30. I have tumeric from before she was born. :smiley:

Nothing is older than a year. I clear out my pantry about every six months, so I throw out anything beyond its use by date.

I have large jars of cinnamon, paprika, and oregano that date back to 1999. Looking back, I have no idea why I thought I’d ever need that much cinnamon.

The oldest thing in there is probably a couple of whole nutmegs. Ground spices are used up in 6 months or tossed out and replaced. There might be a couple of blends that are pushing a year, but not many.

Most everything is a year or less, other than some whole nutmegs and the remains of an ounce of saffron, neither of which seem to ever go bad. I know there are some Penzeys spices that are likely older than a year, as I haven’t shopped at Penzeys since the Savory store opened in our neighborhood. Time for my annual (or so) cleanout, I guess.

If I looked for it, would not surprise me to find something 20 years old.

I can think of a couple items that are definitely more than 10.

Then what you have is sawdust, not spices.

I bought asstons of paprika on a trip to Hungary four years ago, and I still have maybe a pound of it sitting around.

But the oldest is probably the five spice powder. I make various Asian foods often, but I don’t use all that much of it.

Hmmmm…thin pork chops fried in a wok with five spice powder…maybe that goes on one of next week’s menus.

A bottle of Spice Islands allspice of unknown age. The only clue is a price sticker(remember those?) for 79 cents.

I have a collection of clubhouse brand tins of spices that seem to move with me from house to house. They are all at least 10 years old, though some may have been topped up with fresh spices at some point.

Pretty sure my tin container of nutmeg is at least 40 years old. Still has the 58 cent label on the bottom and a weight in ounces, rather than grams, so it’s pre Canada’s switch to metric. I won’t ever use it, but I can’t bring myself to throw it out now.

When my mother passed, 10 years ago, I cleaned out her spice cabinet. Some of the spices had labels from before there were Zip Codes (1963). So they were ***at least ***42 years old.

Pretty sure we have have some little-used containers, such as Paprika, that are pushing 20.

I have spices that come in little cans, not little jars.

Most of them don’t have expiration dates, but I have a can of dill seed dated “04 Sep 1988.”

I hear that McCormick ran an ad a few years back in womens’ magazines showing how to date your spices based on the package design. My sister and I are pretty sure we’ll someday discover that, like panache45, our mother has some tins that predate ZIP Codes.

That’s what people keep saying.

I have some really old nutmeg and some fresh nutmeg that we grate. The older nutmeg does have slightly less potency, but it’s certainly not sawdust, even on a side-by-side tasting.

3 months. I keep an aggressive spice cleanout schedule.

Oh, no, wait, technically the vanilla pods in my vanilla sugar and the cinnamon in my cinnamon sugar shaker count, right? 1 year-ish for those.

I keep my spices frozen in air-tight containers, preferably glass. They last indefinitely.

I used to have some saffron that I bought on sale in the mid-1980s - if memory serves, it was an ounce for $25, which was quite a good price. (And it was the real deal, not the fake stuff that abounds.) It’s hard to use up an entire ounce of saffron so it never ran out.

Periodically I’d say to myself, “Oh, come on - I’ve had this saffron for 20 years! It’s gotta be dead!” But I would sniff it and still get a nice saffron aroma, and certainly it worked beautifully for coloring.

But a day came when it did seem a bit less potent, so I bought some new saffron from Penzey’s. Comparing the old and new, the new definitely had a stronger, fresher smell. But the difference between newly purchased saffron and saffron that had been mostly frozen for nearly 30 years was not as pronounced as you would think.