Hi @BadaBing! This year since I’m limiting trips to the store, I had to rethink my usual benign neglect approach to stocking pantry staples.
Commercially prepared breadcrumbs and panko: I always taste and smell these for off-notes first and check the Best By date second. I think the date offers me only a vague indication of whether the product is fit for use. Their shelf life varies a lot depending on the environment. Panko lasts best for me—could be a year or more if tightly sealed.
Rice: Aroma is my guide. If the grains smell the least bit rancid or funky, it’s game over no matter what the Best By/Sell By date says. And is it just me, or do varieties of rice for risotto like Arborio seem to degrade the fastest? Longer-grain rices seem to store well for me pretty much indefinitely either in a tightly sealed container or vacuum packed.
Rice noodles: These seem to keep almost indefinitely for me. If I store them too long, they appear to become brittle in the package.