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Thread: Does Tahini go bad?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Does Tahini go bad?

    Hi. I have some tahini in the cupboard from about 6 months ago. When I used it last night it had this really spicy kick to it. I was surprised since it didn't taste like that last time I used it. So I started wondering if it had gone bad. I always thought tahini was like peanut butter in that it stays in the cupboard indefinitely. Am I wrong? Was I supposed to refrigerate it? I doesn't say much on the label except that it contain no additives or preservatives... I'm wondering if that's why it didn't last..

    Any insight would be appreciated.
    Thanks!
    Carpathia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Carpathia,

    Foodsubs.com says you're supposed to store it in the fridge unless you plan to use it within a week. I'm guessing yours went bad since I was in the cupboard.

    Leigh
    "Mommy, Can we Please, Please, Please have spinach for dinner?" DD2(age 6)

  3. #3
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    Regular grocery-type peanut butter is actually almost always "bad" (read "rancid") only you can't taste it, because it's been smoothed, emulsified, salted and sugared.

    The oils in any kind of natural nut/seed butter may go rancid if the butter's stored in the cupboard. All of them, including peanut, are better kept in the fridge -- with the disadvantage, of course, that they then don't spread. I usually put my tablespoon in a microwaveable dish and zap it for a half-minute on "Defrost".

  4. #4
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    Whenever I have something that doesn't have preservatives or additives I usually refrigerate it. I'm intrigued by the spicy bit though I would have thought it would have smelled off/rancid.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  5. #5
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    I know this is bad, but I had some Tahini in my cupboard for a long time - more than 6 months and it was fine.

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by CLustik
    I know this is bad, but I had some Tahini in my cupboard for a long time - more than 6 months and it was fine.
    Ditto. All that oil seems to preserve it.

    BOB

  7. #7
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    I, too, had some really old Tahini that I just finished last week, I mean like a year. But it always smelled and tasted fine, which is how I measure rancidity.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by CompassRose
    Regular grocery-type peanut butter is actually almost always "bad" (read "rancid") only you can't taste it, because it's been smoothed, emulsified, salted and sugared.

    The oils in any kind of natural nut/seed butter may go rancid if the butter's stored in the cupboard. All of them, including peanut, are better kept in the fridge -- with the disadvantage, of course, that they then don't spread. I usually put my tablespoon in a microwaveable dish and zap it for a half-minute on "Defrost".
    Sugar and salt are the preservatives in non-natural peanut butter.

    Salt, Sugar, Acid, and Dryness:

    Natural Preservatives



    When foods are very salty or sugary, they draw water out of bacteria, which either kills the bacteria or keeps their numbers down. Thus sugar and salt keep in the pantry indefinitely. Many sweet or salty foods will also keep for long periods. Many types of candy, stored in a tightly closed container, last for a long time on the shelf. Honey and pancake syrups keep without refrigeration for about a year; molasses will last for six months. Genuine maple syrup, however, tends to mold and eventually ferment in the pantry (after it is opened), as it is less concentratedly sweet than these others.

    Acidity and dryness also discourage bacteria. Vinegar, with a pH ranging from 2.4 to 3.4, is too acidic to be friendly to bacterial growth, so you ordinarily need not refrigerate it, and it will last safely on your pantry shelf for as long as a year. (But see the book.) Pickling and brining use a potent combination of salt and vinegar or other acid to preserve and flavor foods at the same time. Nowadays we refrigerate our pickled foods after opening them so as to keep them crisper and better-tasting. But pickles always used to be stored in the pantry-in the pickle barrel or jar-and some stores still sell pickles from the barrel, at room temperature.

    Meats such as bacon and ham are still sometimes salt-cured (and sometimes are both salt-cured and smoke-cured, smoke being another "natural" preservative). Cured meats last longer than fresh meats, but all meats are such desirable homes to bacteria that they must be refrigerated even after curing to keep them safe.

    Because dryness is antimicrobial, flours, mixes, pasta, rice, and dried beans may all be stored in the pantry. Molds, however, may afflict dried foods if your pantry gets too humid.

    Foods containing enough alcohol, a general disinfectant, can also live long on your pantry shelves. It is the presence of alcohol that keeps your vanilla, almond extract, and other flavoring extracts, as well as alcoholic beverages, safe for long periods on your shelves without refrigeration.
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    I'm intrigued by the spicy bit though I would have thought it would have smelled off/rancid.

    Yeah I thought it was strange as well. It didn't smell or taste funny other than the spiciness so I went ahead and made my hummus anyway.

    Unfortunately, I followed a "spicy hummus" recipe and after adding all the spices and the "spicy" tahini, it ended up being unbearably spicy. So down the garbage disposal it went.

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