Where does the ketchup go, in the cupboard or your refrigerator?
Err… does bread spoil in the fridge?
It wasn’t until I was living alone, during my university years, that I first started contemplating these almost existential crisis-esque questions. And before you can accuse me of being dramatic, trust me, I speak from experience.
Each question sprouted a brainstorming that led to such intense debates between my equally clueless college friends and me… that at times I genuinely wondered if our friendships would survive it. The War of Where Goes My Chocolate is still a touchy subject for two friends. Like old war veterans, they still bristle each time someone innocently brings up Lindt in a conversation.
Looking back, I guess the main problem was that we received such conflicting advice. Yes, our mothers, aka our kitchen Yodas, spoke from years of successful housekeeping experience. However, in most cases, they simply followed what their mothers ordained upon them and almost every time this advice was in stark contrast to some other knowledgeable matriarch.
This led me to an epiphany… Nobody knew for sure. When it comes to the fantastic, modern-day contraption that is the refrigerator, most of us are rather clueless. We follow storing routines that have worked for us in the past but could it be that all this time… we’ve been wrong?
If you’ve always wondered but been stumped, worry not, I have your back! After an inspired bout of research, here’s what I found experts have to say about food storage:
Eggs must be stored in your fridge, but never in the oh-so-cute egg bin inside your fridge rack. The door of your fridge actually happens to be the warmest portion of a refrigerator, which can make them go bad much more quicker.
Never store your cucumbers straight away in the refrigerator. Experts say you put them at risk of chill injuries that would leave them with a mushy texture and watery taste. Instead, store them on the kitchen worktop and move them to the fridge once they begin to get soft.
Most of us store freshly bought tomatoes in our assigned vegetable chillers inside the fridge. However, for optimum taste store them outside and transfer to the fridge once they show signs of softening.
Store bought bread must be placed in a sealed plastic bag and stored outside, at room temperature. Once you’ve opened the bag, experts recommend storing it in your freezer 2 days later, enclosed in foil or freezer bags.
Only place your bananas in the fridge if they happen to be overripe and you’d like to pop them in a smoothie later. Pro tip: Store it in a separate fruit bowl as bananas ripen quickly and emanate a gas, which can accelerate the spoiling of other fruits.
6. Red Wine
Most people store red wine in their cupboards post opening. However, experts recommend storing it in the fridge. If you store red wine at a warmer room temperature, it can slow down the oxidation process, which harms an open bottle.
On a short-term basis, storage outside in a butter dish is fine. However, if you want to increase its shelf life, pop it in the fridge.
This actually caused a Twitter meltdown earlier this year with Twitteratis were divided between the cupboard and the fridge.
Well, the results are out: Experts say the condiment should be stored in the fridge once opened as ketchup’s high acid content deteriorates at room temperature.
Chocolate should NEVER go in your fridge! It notoriously absorbs moisture and icky odors from your fridge, which will make it smell off and look discolored.
Marmalades, pickles, and jams must always be stored in your refrigerator once opened. Before opening, store in a cool, dark region of your kitchen.
Even if it’s commercially bought, please store it in the fridge. Mayo contains cream and eggs, which can go bad at room temperature.
12. Grapes & Apples
A majority of us are guilty of dumping them straightway in our fruit bowls. However, their actual place is in the refrigerator. Pro tip: Don’t wash before storing as excess water will accelerate its decomposition.
Most people store fruit squash and other cordials in the fridge. However, it’s absolutely fine to leave them in your kitchen cupboards. They usually contain preservatives like sulfites or potassium sorbate that allow shelf storage.
14. Soy Sauce & Peanut Butter
You can store them in your kitchen cupboards even after opening! Peanut butter has a shelf life of 3 months, while soy sauce can be stored for up to 3 years.
15. Onions & Potatoes
Onions, winter squash, and potatoes should be stored in cool and dry places. Your garlic and shallots can be left outside for close to 2 weeks.
Wasn’t that simply enlightening? I don’t know about you, but boy, some things sure did come as news to me. What took you by surprise? Let us know in the comments section below!