Quick question: Are all normal dried spices/herbs in the store grain/gluten free?
I wonder about contamination. Thanks!
Unfortunately no, the are not automatically gluten-free. You will have to check with the specific manufacturer of the people who make the spices carried by your main local supermarket. Most of these little glass spice bottles (plastic leaches out the flavor oils from the spices causing plastic packed spices to be severely less flavorful) have the help number you can call for this info printed right on the back.
www.celiac.com is a great place to find gluten specific information (though only a few over there are totally grain free).
typically, too, if you buy in a spice shop (for bulk spices) or a whole foods grocery or coop (for bulk spices), they will tell you whether or not they are GF.
as a rule of thumb, plain/straight spices (eg, straight paprika) is likely to be but a mix (eg "mexican spice mix") is likely not to be. but, i would always ask and/or read labels!
Definitely be careful of anything that's a spice blend. I love shopping at Penzeys spices, but I have realized that some of their blends contain sugar and some other things I don't want to eat. However, most of the "pure" spices like ground cumin or dried basil or dried dill are fine.