We often store groceries and food items in the refrigerator to prolong their shelf life. However, there are some foods that should never be stored in the fridge. Not only does refrigerating them not help, but it can actually cause them to deteriorate faster. Here are 7 food items you should avoid putting in the refrigerator:
Bread is one food that you should never refrigerate. While it may seem like a good idea to keep it fresh for longer, refrigeration actually changes the flavor and texture of the bread. It dries out faster and becomes rubbery. Additionally, bread has the tendency to absorb odors from other foods in the fridge, which can alter its taste. If you really need to store bread, consider freezing it instead. Slice the bread and put individual portions in freezer bags. When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply defrost and reheat in the oven, just like freshly baked bread.
Onions and Garlic
Onions prefer to be stored in a cool, dry place, such as a cellar or pantry. The ideal temperature for their conservation is around 7-13°C, and they don’t like humidity. Refrigerating onions is not the best option, especially when they are whole. However, if you have cut onions, it’s advisable to store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container to prevent them from spoiling and spreading their strong odor throughout the fridge.
Similarly, garlic bulbs should be stored in a dry, cool, and well-ventilated environment, like a pantry. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can negatively affect the garlic. But if you have already cut garlic cloves, the refrigerator is the best place to store them. Use an airtight container to protect them and prevent other foods from absorbing their odor. On average, stored garlic cloves can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, though their flavor may become slightly milder.
Avocados and Potatoes
The question of whether avocados should be refrigerated depends on their level of maturity. If an avocado is unripe, it’s best to keep it out of the refrigerator until it fully ripens. Refrigeration slows down the maturation process, so you’ll have to wait longer before it’s ready to be consumed. On the other hand, if you have a ripe avocado and want it to last a few more days, you can store it in the refrigerator. Wrap it in a towel or paper bag to absorb excess moisture and prevent rapid ripening.
As for potatoes, they require a different preservation method compared to other vegetables. Whole potatoes should be stored in a dark, cool place with good ventilation. Refrigerating them can cause the starch in potatoes to turn into sugar more quickly, altering their taste. If you don’t have a cool place to store them, you can opt for the refrigerator, but don’t leave them in there for more than a week.
Tomatoes and Olive Oil
Tomatoes are often debated when it comes to refrigeration. Generally, it is not recommended to store tomatoes in the refrigerator unless they are extremely ripe and you want to extend their shelf life for a few more days. The cold temperature can change the texture and flavor of tomatoes, making them less flavorful and more stringy. To keep tomatoes in perfect condition, store them at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. If you do refrigerate them, let the tomatoes warm up to room temperature before consuming to enhance their flavor.
As for olive oil, it should be kept cool and in a dark place. Refrigeration can make the oil denser and cloudier, and condensation inside the bottle can compromise the quality due to humidity. Store olive oil in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight, at a temperature of 20-25°C.
By avoiding refrigeration for these 7 food items, you can ensure that they stay fresh and flavorful for longer. So, next time you go grocery shopping, keep in mind the best way to store these items and enjoy them at their best!