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The best flavor comes from whole spices ground at the moment you need them. Black pepper is one of the most widely used spices that loses its flavor very quickly after being ground. For the richest flavor, keep black peppercorns whole, and grind them in a spice grinder or coffee grinder used exclusively for grinding spices. White pepper is also good, as it's milder than black pepper and can add pepper flavor to dishes where you don't want black flecks to spoil the presentation (such as in pureed cauliflower). Other spices best saved for grinding at the last minute are nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|