There is only so much room in your refrigerator, and every inch counts. So why, then, do so many Americans put grocery items in the fridge that would be just fine in the pantry?
For one, we need clarification about which items need refrigerated and which don't. Thinking that the following foods belong in the fridge is Fake Chews. Fortunately, your fact-checkers are here to set the record straight. AUTHOR: Sam Mire
Table of Contents
- 1. Onions
- 2. Peanut Butter
- 3. Honey
- 4. Barbecue Sauce
- 5. Potatoes
- 6. Butter for Spreading
- 7. Tomatoes
- 8. Bananas
- 9. Nutella
- 10. Bread
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Red, yellow, it doesn't matter. If it's an onion, you can store it in a cool, dry place other than the refrigerator. If you think that onions need refrigeration, you probably also think The Onion is a legitimate news source. Don't be an onion. Save your refrigerator shelf space for foods that deserve it.
2. Peanut Butter
One George Washington Carver fan noted that natural peanut butter might do better in the fridge. For the most part, though, you can keep the Jif next to that can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle you've had in the pantry for the past five years. You butter not put Skippy in the refrigerator unless you have room to spare.
Would honey bee better in the fridge? No! In fact, unusually chilly refrigerators can turn syrupy honey into a hardened, granular mass that you have to scoop out. That's not honey at all.
So honey, please stop putting the honey in the fridge. Honey belongs on the countertop, where, one enthusiast notes, it will "stay good at room temp for at least a couple thousand years."
4. Barbecue Sauce
Most of us keep opened condiments, including barbecue sauce, in the fridge after opening. However, Sweet Baby Ray's and most of its competitors are chock-full of preservatives, and you'd probably be fine leaving even an opened bottle in the pantry for a month or two.
Potatoes do best in cool, dark places. Most homes have plenty of cool, dark places, meaning you don't have to waste precious fridge space on the 'taters.
Once you finally get around to cooking your wedges or tots, you can store the potatoes in the coolest, darkest of places: your belly.
6. Butter for Spreading
Toast Pros know to keep one stick of butter in a tray at room temperature. Butter for spreading is best at room temperature. Your refrigerator is not at room temperature. If you plan to spread it, keep it out.
You say tomato; I say leave the Beefsteaks and Romas in the vegetable basket. Take it from Martha Stewart: Tomatoes taste better and remain firm when stored at room temperature.
It's not like storing tomatoes in the fridge is merely unnecessary. The cold temperature activates an enzyme that causes the tomatoes to become mushy.
"I like my tomatoes mushy." - Nobody, Ever.
Do not underestimate the power of the banana peel to preserve the inner fruit. When someone asked Mr. Tallyman whether he refrigerated his banana, he said bana-nahhh. Unless the banana turns brown, then throw it in the fridge ASAP, or make banana bread.
Where do you fall in the great debate over whether to refrigerate Nutella or keep it in the pantry? One cocoa fiend says refrigerated Nutella is "legit," while another person claims that refrigerated Nutella is rock-solid Nutella. For most Nutell-ites, the Hazelnut spread should Hazel-not go in the Subzero.
You can freeze bread to preserve it, and refrigerating it may have the same preservative effect. But have you let a loaf of bread sit in the pantry for a few weeks? You won't find a speck of mold!
Today's Franken-Wheat style bread isn't worth the refrigerator space. Odds are, you'll eat the loaf well before it starts to turn.
This thread inspired this post.
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