Why Bobby Flay Says It's A Bad Idea To Buy Spices Online

Bobby Flay has been serving up all kinds of sage advice on his podcast, "Always Hungry," which he co-hosts with his daughter Sophie Flay. In previous episodes, Flay has shared his favorite cocktail and the five dishes he thinks everyone should know how to make. But what has us talking now is his suggestion on where not to purchase spices. In one podcast episode, Flay, who has more Iron Chef title wins than any of his peers, spoke of the most important kitchen tools and pantry items to have on hand if you want to make just about any recipe. 

To kick off the episode, Sophie explained how she was trying to make something out of her dad's "Bobby At Home" cookbook, and she noticed a list of items you need in your kitchen to "set yourself up for success." She also expressed she was rather impressed by how extensive and thorough this list is. While the two discuss everything from food processors to sheet pans, they also take a deep dive into the spice rack, which sparks a question from Sophie — is it OK to order up your spices online? 

It's best to get spices from a spice store

Flay starts off by explaining that it's important to keep your dried spices "up to date" because contrary to what many believe, herbs and spices do go bad. He says, "After a year or so, it's time to replenish them." Sophie asks her dad if there is a good place to get spices, quizzing him as to whether or not she can just buy them "online." Flay tells her she shouldn't because, to paraphrase, you just don't know how long it has been sitting in the warehouse. 

The Iron Chef told his daughter he buys his in bulk and puts them in containers, but as Sophie notes, she will never "run through" spices like her dad does, and chances are, neither will most of us. So, where should the average cook purchase spices? A spice store, of course. Flay shared an Indian store in New York City called Kalustyan's that he likes, but if you are a far cry away from the Big Apple, take a page from Sophie and ask your Smartphone to find a "spice store near me."

You can check out the spices Flay keeps in his incredibly organized pantry and perhaps get some inspiration for your next spice shopping trip.