Given how often we have to do a weekly food shop, and the frequency we prepare meals for ourselves, you’d think we’d all know which ingredients should and shouldn’t be stored in the fridge. But, there are actually a handful of foods that many of us are routinely storing incorrectly. So, if you want to be doubly sure that you’re storing food correctly, here are five you may not have realised should be kept in the fridge…
Pure maple syrup
If you’ve bought yourself some high quality pure maple syrup (the kinds that doesn’t contain preservatives and chemicals), you’ll need to store it in the fridge once it’s open. At room temperature, the lack of preservatives can cause it the syrup to spoil… a devastating occurrence if you’ve rustled up a stack of pancakes on a Sunday morning! So if you know it’s going to take you a little while to get through your maple syrup, pop it in the fridge.
Soy sauce won’t do you any harm if you’ve opened it and returned it straight back to the cupboard, and that’s due to the fact it contains such high levels of sodium. But, there’s a good chance it will lose its freshness if you don’t refrigerate it, which will eventually change its flavour too. So, if you think it will take you longer than a month or two to finish off a bottle, put it in the fridge as soon as it’s opened.
Lemons, limes and oranges can be kept in the fridge if you want to preserve their shelf-life a little longer. But if you’re going to do this, consider investing in a fridge that has a fruit & veg drawer that separates into two. A single fruit and vegetable drawer can result in your ingredients contaminating one another, causing both to spoil much quicker than they otherwise would in their own compartments. Retailers such as Fisher & Paykel sell fridges with separate drawers – and it’s especially worth investing in one if you’re a keen cook or someone who’s passionate about good quality food.
You probably already know not to store avocados in the fridge, especially if you’ve bought the ‘ripen at home’ ones. But, you should be refrigerating them once they’ve ripened to the level that you think is tastiest. Moving them into the fridge will halt the ripening process, and the same is true for bananas too. Just note that refrigerating bananas will turn their skins brown.
If you live alone, you probably won’t consume an entire pack of butter quickly enough before bacteria has started to grow. So, don’t leave your butter on the worktop – particularly if your kitchen is lovely and warm. Instead, take out a small quantity from the pack at a time, keeping it in a butter dish with a well-fitting lid. Leave the remainder of the pack in the fridge and take out a little more as and when you need it.
Have you been storing any of these foods incorrectly? And is there anything in particular that you think should be kept out of the fridge, rather than inside it?