Storing Fragile Spices Aboard

A lot of cruisers like to grow their own fresh herbs aboard.  But after trying it twice, I succumbed to the reality that a basil plant after a single passage was a disaster and I wasn’t ready to start an entire garden.  Occasionally we could buy fresh herbs, but a bunch of parsley, a bunch of cilantro and some fresh basil took up a BUNCH of space in the fridge.  I tried keeping them in the cooler side (our refrigerator has a “refrigerated/freezer” and some holes drilled through the wall make the opposite side which started life as an ice block cooler into what we call “the cooler section”) but apparently that wasn’t enough chilling for the herbs.  They were being stubborn and very droopy until I moved them back to the “real refrigerator”.    Unfortunately there is no way I can justify allocating enough space to keep bunches of fresh herbs.  🙁

Growing Basil in a Pot Aboard

Growing Basil in a Pot Aboard

But because fresh herbs make everything taste better, I was still searching for a solution to the space problem when I found Gourmet Garden herbs in a squeeze tube.  Seemed like an improbable chance at best and at worst, it was relatively expensive to buy them for a test.  Probably a lot of you already know about the  Gourmet Garden squeeze tubes of “fresh” herbs, but I’m obviously a bit too much of a cynic & traditionalist. I finally broke down and tried a tube of cilantro — hmmm.. this is better than dried!  As long as we’re in the U.S. we’ll be able to purchase them!   Outside U.S. waters all bets are off.  But in the meantime, I might as well take advantage of the compromise as long as I’m living with a tiny refrigerator compartment that I can barely reach the bottom of the pit!

The tube claims that it contains as much as 3 bunches of fresh cilantro, that it’s made with organic cilantro with no added anything and that it will last a couple of months in the refrigerator.  COOL!

Gourmet Garden Herbs in a Tube

Gourmet Garden Herbs in a Tube

It passed the initial taste test.  Now it’s been in the refrigerator for almost a month and the flavor’s still good.   Not sure about two months yet since I’ve only had it a month!

These days if I’m making something that calls for enough of a fresh herb to justify buying an entire bunch, I’ll always go with the real thing. If the recipe only calls for a little, I’m using the Gourmet Garden tubes of herbs. I can just throw it in the bottomless pit refrigerator and it will always be good and never crushed and limp.

Obviously, if you have a bigger boat, or bigger refrigerator space, you may never need to use herbs in a tube, but for the rest of us, it’s all good!

If you do things differently (don’t all sailors?), leave a comment and share!  THX!  Jan



  1. Hi Jan

    We at Gourmet Garden have known for some time now that our squeeze herbs and spices have quite a few fans in the cruising/sailing community. Our tubes have a ‘Best Before’ on the cap and generally have about 3 months freshness in the fridge from when you purchase them in the Produce department. But your readers might be interested to know they can also be stored in the freezer for another 3 months past the Best Before and, very conveniently, don’t freeze solid!

    Most Gourmet Garden flavors are USDA-Certified Made with Organic Herbs (except Ginger), are Gluten Free (except Italian Seasoning), and very low in sodium. All with no added colors or flavors.

    Use them on a one-to-one ratio for fresh bunches. That is, one Tbsp. fresh chopped Basil equals one Tbsp. Gourmet Garden. Just squeeze!

    Visit for plenty of simple, sensational recipes and a store locator.


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