For some time I’ve been interested in food storage. Recently I found links to food storage charts. Some of the listed items are almost upsetting: packaged cookies are good for four months? (Home made, by contrast are good for 2-3 weeks). . . are they preservatives iced with preservatives? It’s enough to make you change your eating habits! I can resist most cakes, pies, ice cream, but cookies are my downfall. I usually avoid making them for just that reason, maybe I should rethink that?
I’m not as interested in regular food storage as I am long-term storage. Knowing what can be stored a long time tells me what I should stock first, then use the rest of my food dollar for fresh or short-lived stuff.
Things that are good for more than 1 year (at pantry temp 70 degrees) include the staples you’d expect: baking power/soda, bouillon, semi-sweet chocolate, unopened chocolate syrup, cornstarch, dry gelatin, dry pasta, rice, etc. But there are some surprises and even disagreements between the charts I found.
Powdered sugar can be stored 18 months in a pantry, but granulated only 12. Why is powdered sugar more shelf stable than granulated?
Brown sugar can be stored only 4 months? Granulated can be stored 12 months and molasses 6 months (opened) or 12 months (unopened). I haven’t bought brown sugar for years, I mix my own. (1T molasses (or more) as needed per 1/2C granulated sugar). I never store brown sugar as I only make it up as needed.
Why are molasses and granulated sugar both more shelf stable than commercial brown sugar? What does this says about commercial brown sugar? I don’t know, but I find it upsetting or at least disconcerting. I’m glad I’ve been mixing my own for years.
Working on making a long-term storage chart has had some unexpected consequences. Life can be strange!