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What's the oldest thing in your fridge?

adroit_minx Jan 3, 2007 07:21 PM

I was listening to a local food commentator on the radio this morning and he said he found a jar of sourdough starter from 1997 in his fridge... so he poured out some of the more acidic (?) stuff and used it again, resulting in a great loaf of bread.

That got me wondering... what's the oldest thing in other people's refrigerators? In mine, I found a jar of champagne mustard that I got on a Napa trip back in 2002... (tossed it, happy new year).

  1. b
    ButterYum Jan 15, 2013 07:22 PM

    I recently threw away duck sauce packets that were probably 7 years old.

    1. c
      ceekskat Jan 15, 2013 07:15 PM

      Pickles from India...probably about 3-4 yrs. old & still good.

      1. e
        ellabee Jan 6, 2013 01:41 PM

        In the freezer compartment, a bag of walnut pieces from 2003. Remarkably, they were still good, so I toasted them and have been adding them to salads.

        In the fridge proper, preserved lemons from fall of 2011. Probably time to use one more and say goodbye to the other. Will definitely make again.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ellabee
          d
          DGresh Jan 6, 2013 03:19 PM

          speaking of nuts, I have a bag of black walnuts (which I don't really like) labeled "1996". My father painstakingly shelled them. I don't have the heart to get rid of them. Coincidentally, my son (who now has a learner's permit) is also circa 1996.

        2. melpy Jan 3, 2013 08:37 AM

          Having graduated from college in 2006 I think there isn't anything possibly from any earlier unless my mother's bag if flax seed is still in there. It might be but I don't remember.

          1. f
            FriedClamFanatic Jan 1, 2013 05:58 PM

            I guess that would be ME.Rummaging around for something to eat

            1. HillJ Jan 1, 2013 05:36 PM

              can of spam just for giggles...i'm not sure of the age actually but we're on our 4th frig in 30 years and the spam has been transferred with every upgrade.

              2 Replies
              1. re: HillJ
                jrvedivici Jan 6, 2013 03:03 PM

                Am I to assume its an open can of spam otherwise why would it be in the fridge? If so........that's just grossssss.

                1. re: jrvedivici
                  HillJ Jan 6, 2013 03:06 PM

                  oh come on now, I thought you were a man of fun and pleasure! the spam can is in their for GIGGLES..a family joke...can't relate? Oops!

              2. eramah Dec 29, 2012 10:51 AM

                First of all, I put dates on fridge and non fridge foods as soon as I come home from shopping. I also use the end of the year to clean out shelves and fridge. I also get rid of all my spices. Most are not good after a year anyway. When I replace spices, I replace them with the smallest containers I can find...Whole Foods has some small ones. Once the new year starts, there should not be any 2012 products around. Of course I do not throw away everything. I take it to the local food bank unless it is way out of date.

                1 Reply
                1. re: eramah
                  coll Dec 29, 2012 10:59 AM

                  If we're counting spices and pantry items, I could be in the running for oldest food substance in my house. I have a bunch of whole cloves in a jelly jar that belonged to my grandmother, then my mother took it when Grandma passed in the early 1970s. I "borrowed" it at some point, soon after I turned 18 and moved out; probably wanted to try Mom's ham recipe, and it is still in my cabinet, almost full. I hate cloves but it is a family heirloom after all. Still smells strong enough to me!

                2. PotatoHouse Dec 28, 2012 04:31 PM

                  Turns out I was wrong, the tofu is not the oldest thing in our fridge. The oldest thing is a can of Canadian energy drink called Beaver Buzz! It was in residence when I moved in four and a half years ago.

                  1. PotatoHouse Dec 24, 2012 08:48 AM

                    An unopened package of semi-firm tofu. It's at least a couple of years old.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: PotatoHouse
                      Tripeler Dec 28, 2012 01:41 AM

                      Likely your package of tofu is quite ghastly by now. When tofu goes bad it does so in a very spectacular manner.

                      1. re: Tripeler
                        buttertart Dec 28, 2012 04:03 PM

                        Protein decomposition is never a very pleasant thing. Maybe if it's in a tetrapak it might have survived...

                    2. p
                      Puffin3 Dec 24, 2012 06:06 AM

                      Miso for me too.

                      1. KaimukiMan Dec 23, 2012 03:21 PM

                        A five year old thread, I wonder if any of these things are STILL in peoples fridge. My fridge died two years ago, so nothing older than 2010 in there.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: KaimukiMan
                          Antilope Dec 23, 2012 03:27 PM

                          Well, I did change out the bottle of Tabasco sauce since 2007. ;-)

                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                            Jay F Dec 24, 2012 11:23 AM

                            I'm the opposite of a hoarder, I guess. I'm not even a condiment collector (I have two sets of friends whose refrigerators are literally so overwhelmed by ancient jars of goos and pastes, it grosses me out; seriously, I have a slight gag reflex).

                            I just looked, and the oldest thing in my fridge is a two-month old jar of honey mustard I bought the last time I ate ham and cheese sandwiches. Now I'm inspired to buy more cold cuts next time I'm at the store.

                          2. Antilope Dec 23, 2012 02:55 PM

                            In my freezer in the garage, I found a 1 lb, half used packet of instant yeast with an expiration date of 2006. I found it about a year ago and finished the package. 6 years after the expiration date, it still made good bread, both by hand and in the bread machine. The 1 lb yeast came in a foil pouch and was stored in double zip lock bags.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Antilope
                              buttertart Dec 28, 2012 04:02 PM

                              I'm still finishing up a 500 gm packet of SAF that expired in 2006. It's just fine. In the freezer all along.

                            2. d
                              DGresh Jan 9, 2009 05:26 AM

                              Five years ago my family went to Iceland. For those who haven't been there, it's *really* unpopulated, and if you're out driving around the countryside, you kind of need to plan ahead. While we had the traditional granola bars (brought from home) we also picked up some dried fish at a local market on a whim. It's more or less "fish jerky"-- very salty, chewy, and not bad at all if you're kind of desperate. The kids didn't quite see it that way :) Anyway, we ate one of the packages and brought the other home, where it's had a place of honor in the refrigerator ever since. Kind of sentimental by now. Everytime the kids see it the exclaim "WHY do we still have this!"

                              The other part of the story is that I had it in my carry on bag coming home. As we wound back and forth through the line at JFK, I heard someone in the next "row" over say something about "what is that strange smell?" I kind of knew.....

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: DGresh
                                d
                                DGresh Dec 24, 2012 05:25 AM

                                We still have that dried fish. It's now 8 years old.... It's lasted through several prolonged power outages, including Sandy of 6 days. But I honestly don't think it can go bad at this point....

                              2. Antilope Dec 24, 2007 10:53 AM

                                Bottle of Tabasco hot sauce, a few years old and half empty.

                                1. PDeveaux Nov 30, 2007 07:38 PM

                                  I had to admit I chuckled when I had to get up from the computer and go look in the fridge to see what old stuff I had in there. Anyway, it turned out to be Paradigm Haute Fudge sauce with Bailey's Irish Creme - a Christmas gift from about 3 years ago. I'm one of those people who cleans out the fridge every few months and dumps everything with old "sell by" dates. But for some reason, because it was a gift from my son and daughter-in-law, I kept it. It sounds like it should be yummy but curiously, it isn't.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: PDeveaux
                                    e
                                    ekammin Dec 24, 2007 07:52 AM

                                    Only about a year old - a can, label in Spanish, of "vegetable salad" (ensalada de legumbres), Del Fuerte brand, thet came as a freebie in a Mexican supermarket last March. Someday, I'll either have the courage to open it and see what it is about, or throw it out.

                                    Oh, and also, a large bottle of sweetened iced tea left behind by the previous tenant. I never have seen the fascination in the southern U.S. with drinking this stuff with meals, except that I know that many people there don't drink wine for religeious reasons.

                                  2. m
                                    Morticia Nov 30, 2007 07:22 PM

                                    The oldest thing in my freezer has got to be the remaining part of my little sister's wedding cake...she got married in 1998 and since they were staying at my apartment, the top of the cake (meant to be eaten traditionally on the first anniversary) stayed at my place. Sadly, their marriage didn't last even that long...but the cake is still there. Well, what remains of the cake - a few years ago, when my Mom was staying at my apartment, she called me at work. A serious chocoholic, she gets these cravings and will not hesitate to prowl around the fridge and cupboards, looking for a fix. Over the phone, she mentioned that she was "just eating this chocolate that was in your freezer..." Huh? It took me a few seconds to realize that she was chowing down on my sister's almost-decade old wedding cake!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Morticia
                                      o
                                      oster Nov 30, 2007 08:53 PM

                                      That's funny! Oster's mother-in-law is a chocoholic, too! Her and Oster's sister in law ate his leftover wedding cake that was being stored in their freezer for the Osters' 1 year anniversary. They claim that they didn't know, but the 1-point-O-ster suspects otherwise!

                                    2. frankiii Nov 30, 2007 04:08 PM

                                      A jar of pickled Thai chilies, probably pushing 6 or 7 years old. I preserved some lemons that have been guilting me from a mason jar for about 2 years (circa my last tagine). I wonder if they are still good? The peppers are fine, but i rarely use them.

                                      1. TexasToast Oct 8, 2007 08:34 AM

                                        Some Achiote paste. I'm not sure I bought it for.

                                        TT

                                        1. wino22 Aug 10, 2007 11:57 AM

                                          My Dad's rarely cleaned out pantry (I know, not a fridge) contained an opened box of Bisquick from 1987. We thought there might be some little creatures inside nibbling, but it was bug-free!

                                          1. JungMann Aug 9, 2007 09:13 AM

                                            A jar of Stonewall chocolate sauce from 1996. Technically it's not even mine. My friend's mother sent it to her in a care package and she in turn, gave it to me, not knowing that her mother bought it when I was still in grade school..

                                            1. l
                                              love2bake Aug 9, 2007 07:49 AM

                                              When my grandma passed away a few years ago, her freezer contained a Tupperware container full of pear sauce that she made...in 1964.

                                              1. anita_cocktail Aug 9, 2007 07:16 AM

                                                Preserved lemons that I made in 2005 or so. I'm sure they are fiiiiiine packed in all that salt.

                                                1. Passadumkeg Aug 9, 2007 03:56 AM

                                                  My mother-in-law was a right wing nut survivalist who could throw nothing out. She was from a wealthy Boston and saw the misery of the depression while staying at dude ranches out west and taking steamship cruises of Europe. She never wanted to find herself in despairate straits.Cases of number ten cans of freeze dried foods dated 1999(of course), '86, 73'(bought the house), in the fridge, a jar of SS Pierce cocktail orange slices dated 1967( 40 years ago! And moved from Framingham,Ma to Ellsworth, Me.) and a case of Civil Defense survival biscuits dated 1963!
                                                  Any recipes for Freeze dried foods, especially the meat? No, I won't feed it to the dog.

                                                  1. w
                                                    wayne keyser Aug 7, 2007 12:33 AM

                                                    Not my own fridge, but my elderly mother's beach house ... last year we were cleaning it out to sell after she died, and there in the fridge was a bottle of Jamaican 'Picapeppa' sauce I'd put there...

                                                    (wait for it ... drum roll, please...)

                                                    ...thirty years before!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: wayne keyser
                                                      JerryMe Dec 23, 2012 02:03 PM

                                                      O. M. G...! I think you win! Maybe. . .

                                                    2. m
                                                      MRS Aug 6, 2007 01:57 PM

                                                      My husband just "discovered" a year old cream cheese in the fridge. He didn't think it was funny, but I did.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: MRS
                                                        a
                                                        AGENT FOODIE Aug 6, 2007 03:20 PM

                                                        as someone who has been certified in safe food handling 5 times i never keep anything past the use by or stamped date. every week on trash day i check for things expired and out they go.

                                                        1. re: MRS
                                                          alkapal Aug 9, 2007 04:43 AM

                                                          If the foil wasn't unsealed, it was OK, right? Otherwise, it could walk out of the fridge its own fuzzy green self!

                                                          No other thread has ever made me laugh so much. i LOVE you guys! (Agent Foodie, I am going to let you be you. :-])

                                                        2. cheftori Aug 6, 2007 06:01 AM

                                                          Oddly enough the oldest thing in my frig is film. Old color film - when you shoot it and process it the colors come out all wacky. It's fun stuff.

                                                          1. warrenr Aug 5, 2007 11:09 AM

                                                            does wine count? a 1970 coteaux du layon a friend gave me because it was leaking. i recently had a 1938 chambertin that i found cleaning out a cellar for someone. kept it in my fridge for a few years. it wasn't good.

                                                            1. c
                                                              CapricornSan Aug 5, 2007 01:16 AM

                                                              i think i win this ;)

                                                              I have a jar of iranian strawberry jam that's only been in my fridge for about 2 years, BUT, it was manufactured in 1978 with a best before date of 1980. My mom had a couple of these jars,one of which she gave to me. We had the others, and they are perfect to consume. and I must say, its the best strawberry jam i've ever heard. (perhaps cos it predates any GM shananigans :P )

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: CapricornSan
                                                                r
                                                                raddoc Aug 5, 2007 11:02 AM

                                                                What does strawberry jam sound like?

                                                              2. Withnail42 Jan 15, 2007 09:13 PM

                                                                A very good question...but I am afrid to take a look!

                                                                1. m
                                                                  mothrpoet Jan 11, 2007 09:15 PM

                                                                  You guys are pack rat amateurs! I have a jar of roux that I bought on a trip to New Orleans in 1995; funny thing is, every time I make gumbo, I make homemade roux anyway. But my 25 year old daughter was looking at baby pictures of herself in my kitchen surrounded by cans of Campbells soup and she remarked, "You probably still have those cans of soup, don't you Mom?!" My reputation is legendary! You just never know when you might want it.....

                                                                  1. jennywinker Jan 11, 2007 08:48 PM

                                                                    We're pretty good about cleaning scary, inedible stuff out of the fridge (like the 3 years past date mayonnaise), but my husband was in search of pickle juice the other day (to make the perfect bloody mary) and pulled out some sliced dills that I know date from summer 2003. Hey, they're pickles. Not going to kill anyone.

                                                                    Oldest non-refrigerated item is a can of tuna that dates from the early 90s. After it made several moves with me, I was too attached to get rid of it, and too scared to eat it. So, I still have it, but it's marked "Vintage" to make sure nobody eats it by accident.

                                                                    1. c
                                                                      curiousbaker Jan 11, 2007 04:20 PM

                                                                      Amateurs! All of you!

                                                                      Okay, I'll admit that I still have condiments in my fridge that are probably about five years old, and they should go. But my parents' fridge is like an time capsule. Just the two of them at home, and their huge fridge is stuffed to the gills with old food. Very, very old food. I mean, there are Hickory Farms boxes on the bottom shelf that have been there since my youth. We're talking over twenty years, people.

                                                                      And the basement. There are cans of old Coke. As in pre-New Coke, pre-Classic Coke. And these are still being served. As well as jars of jam my mother made when I was 10. I'm thirty-five.

                                                                      Strangely enough, neither of them seemed to ever have had food poisoning....

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: curiousbaker
                                                                        HaagenDazs Jan 11, 2007 08:11 PM

                                                                        Who are you and why have you locked your parents in a cage (aka house) ;-) Only joking - that's quite impressive. And... the beaming question here is, why don't they throw stuff away? I mean, the Hickory Farms thingy has got to be inedible. Can't you just sneak in there in the middle of the night and liberate the poor foodstuffs?! Then again it may unleash a tirade of botulism on the garbage man. Send some of the stuff to the Smithsonian, or sell some of those Coke cans on eBay.

                                                                        I'm not trying to be mean or negative, but when they die it's going to be up to you to clean the place out. Start calling dumpster services!

                                                                        1. re: HaagenDazs
                                                                          c
                                                                          curiousbaker Jan 15, 2007 03:34 PM

                                                                          Believe me, my siblings and I are ALL TOO AWARE of the task that lies before us. I've got dibs on the garbage bags from the seventies with big pink psychedelic flowers on them.

                                                                        2. re: curiousbaker
                                                                          w
                                                                          WineWidow Jan 12, 2007 03:25 PM

                                                                          Curiousbaker,
                                                                          wait a minute -- are those cans of coke the old metal cans of our youth? the little 250ml (or whatever that was in imperial) steel cans where you could see how the metal was bent round a form and then soldered (or something) together on one side?

                                                                          There are collectors out there for those! They could pay for the clean-out services!

                                                                          1. re: curiousbaker
                                                                            a
                                                                            AnnaBaptist Jan 3, 2013 06:54 AM

                                                                            Have any of those cans ever leaked? Back in 1975, I took home a 250 ml. can of Coke from Japan because I thought it looked so cool. Five years later, I had to toss it because the seam leaked.

                                                                            1. re: AnnaBaptist
                                                                              Antilope Jan 3, 2013 10:23 AM

                                                                              Collectors of old food packaging always empty the contents.

                                                                          2. HaagenDazs Jan 11, 2007 03:24 PM

                                                                            This past Christmas I found some yogurt that had a sell by date of May 2005 in my MIL's fridge. I threw it away...

                                                                            1. buttertart Jan 10, 2007 06:18 PM

                                                                              A (sealed) jar of chili sauce (a tomato-based very lightly-spiced Ontario specialty) my mother made in 1993. She died in 1994. I will never ever throw it out!

                                                                              1. m
                                                                                Mill City Modern Jan 8, 2007 07:12 PM

                                                                                I've got a tub of shrimp paste that is at least 4 years old.

                                                                                1. z
                                                                                  ZoeZ Jan 8, 2007 05:40 PM

                                                                                  Chowpuplet helped the other grandmother to clean out her freezer and they found a box of egg whites that had a use by date of 1986. I thought the box should have exploded before this!

                                                                                  Our freezer down in Palm Springs just got a clean out and there were two items that were from 2004. Ugh!

                                                                                  1. bolivianita Jan 8, 2007 03:27 PM

                                                                                    We have a jar of Black Sesame oil in our fridge that was in my mother in laws house for many years (at least 5) before she passed it on to us. We have been together for 7 years and it has been with us at least 6. I take it out and test it everey once in a while and its still good. I have no way of dating it as it doesn't have any kid of use by date but I think its safe to say its in its mid teens. I'm can't throw it out now, its like part of the family!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: bolivianita
                                                                                      alkapal Aug 9, 2007 04:36 AM

                                                                                      "part of the family" just cracked me up! know the feeling -- I have a condiment clan.

                                                                                    2. b
                                                                                      Bluezman Jan 7, 2007 05:21 PM

                                                                                      Hey, CindyJ
                                                                                      You got Seltzer? I love Egg Creams.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Bluezman
                                                                                        CindyJ Jan 8, 2007 05:35 PM

                                                                                        I've got seltzer, but it won't be the real deal unless it's from one of those old-fashioned squirt bottles we used to have delivered weekly when I was a kid in Brooklyn.

                                                                                      2. m
                                                                                        mushroompants Jan 7, 2007 04:43 PM

                                                                                        Well I don't feel so bad now, we have two bottles of champagne at least 3-4 years old. We tossed the Y2K adorned bottle last year. We have cured ourselves of that curse and have resigned to reading about the celebrations on the 1st.
                                                                                        We have been known to come across out-of-date cheeses too, unless parmesan comes in a dark green shade.

                                                                                        1. n
                                                                                          nosh Jan 7, 2007 04:35 PM

                                                                                          My Hebrew National hotdogs are kosher and vacuumed wrapped, so they're still ok from 2005 I'm sure.

                                                                                          1. CindyJ Jan 7, 2007 04:19 PM

                                                                                            A bottle of Fox's U-Bet I bought about 5 years ago in NYC. I got it more for more nostalgic reasons than because I wanted or needed a jar of chocolate syrup. I don't think anyone's ever opened it. Hmmmm.... egg cream, anyone?

                                                                                            1. b
                                                                                              Bluezman Jan 6, 2007 07:26 PM

                                                                                              I didn't think it was that old, but I found an 8oz. jar of Maxwell House Instant Coffee 1/3 full in the Pre-divorce circa of 1997 on the bottom shelf. If I read the date code correctly; it's from april 1990. I put 2 tbs. into the blender W/some milk, hot coco powder, powdered milk, sugar , vanilla, and crushed ice. It was good. I guess what they say is true: It's good to the last drop!

                                                                                              1. whs Jan 5, 2007 10:58 PM

                                                                                                A wooden box of salt cod that has been lurking on the bottom shelf like an unwanted relative since 1994. Does this stuff ever go bad?

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: whs
                                                                                                  z
                                                                                                  ZoeZ Jan 8, 2007 05:41 PM

                                                                                                  I wouldn't think so - the Vikings liked it a few years old!

                                                                                                  1. re: whs
                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Aug 9, 2007 03:38 AM

                                                                                                    The true traditional Maine food is salt fish w/ potatoes, pork scraps and diced raw onions(google a recipe, I love it.). Can't find it a restaurant, only home made. A hundred years ago lobster was served to the prisoners in the state pen and maid put in their contract that they couldn't be fed lobster more than 3 times a week. How times change!

                                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                                    melly Jan 5, 2007 08:07 PM

                                                                                                    Pickled ginger and a pair of panty hose (I think they should be in the freezer). That tells ya how long its been since I've worn the stupid things. I think I'll cut the legs off and store onions in them..per Alton.

                                                                                                    Also some red miso paste that is at least 6 months old. Is it still good?

                                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                                      Bluezman Jan 5, 2007 07:41 PM

                                                                                                      I'm not sure what it is...It might be meat, then again it might be cake. As for age I'll have to let you know when the carbon dateing comes back.

                                                                                                      1. OCAnn Jan 5, 2007 07:25 PM

                                                                                                        My husband.

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: OCAnn
                                                                                                          w
                                                                                                          WineWidow Jan 5, 2007 07:33 PM

                                                                                                          Ha! (I think)

                                                                                                          1. re: OCAnn
                                                                                                            m
                                                                                                            melly Jan 5, 2007 08:08 PM

                                                                                                            LOL!!! OCAnn..maybe you should put him in the freezer?

                                                                                                            1. re: melly
                                                                                                              OCAnn Jan 5, 2007 08:16 PM

                                                                                                              Only if he would fit.

                                                                                                              1. re: OCAnn
                                                                                                                bryan Jan 7, 2007 07:36 AM

                                                                                                                After some time they don't take up so much space. Two down, one to go.

                                                                                                                1. re: bryan
                                                                                                                  OCAnn Jan 10, 2007 06:03 AM

                                                                                                                  LOL. I guess my husband is more of a lurker than a resident.

                                                                                                          2. w
                                                                                                            WineWidow Jan 5, 2007 07:07 PM

                                                                                                            Our ancient-doesn't-close-properly-anymore-just-waiting-for-
                                                                                                            new-kitchen-to-be-built-to-replace-it fridge is an unfortunate cabinet of curiosities (or horrors, depending on how you look at it).

                                                                                                            A recent rummage through the lower shelves revealed:

                                                                                                            - not one but two canned Spreewalder gurken...yes, that's right, I went to the Spreewald (in 2002) and all I brought back was a pair of lousy canned pickles.

                                                                                                            - at least two unmarked bottles of something that I believe (hope) is icewine.

                                                                                                            - a mason jar of peeled garlic cloves in brine that dates back to the summer I bought the house...2001. The metal top is rusty and crusty so I'm a bit scared of it.

                                                                                                            - several unmarked jars of homemade chutneys and jams that could be as old as 5 years, which is fine, nothing's going to hurt them, but the fact that they can't be positively identified means that they're likely to stay closed for the time being.

                                                                                                            - several knuckles of parmesan and other cheeses that would require carbon dating to ascertain their age, that I keep to drop into soups and sauces, but which never seem to make it out of the dark recesses of the fridge.

                                                                                                            and finally, two drinking glasses, one encrusted with ancient dried out egg white and the other encrusted with ancient, dried out coconut cream.

                                                                                                            Yup. I do promise to be nicer to the new fridge when it arrives in February and not fill it with various science experiments.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: WineWidow
                                                                                                              Glencora Jan 5, 2007 07:31 PM

                                                                                                              I bet you will be nicer to your new fridge. My old one was so icky I barely bothered to clean it or organize it. But I love my new one so much that I enjoy keeping tidy.

                                                                                                              1. re: WineWidow
                                                                                                                z
                                                                                                                ZoeZ Jan 8, 2007 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                I am going downstairs to the Sub Zero and look at the door shelves because I think there are lots of jars/bottles lurking there that might need a trip to the trash. Got lucky last year because some shelves on the pantry buckled and we were able to have an enforced pantry cleanout - that was scary.

                                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                                sweetpotater Jan 5, 2007 12:43 AM

                                                                                                                I have such a wide assortment of condiments that I never make it through any of them very fast; they are all years old - and perfectly fine, far as I can tell.

                                                                                                                1. m
                                                                                                                  Meann Jan 4, 2007 11:04 PM

                                                                                                                  Patak's extra hot lime pickle ... really good, but only a little bitty bit at a time.

                                                                                                                  1. p
                                                                                                                    personalcheffie Jan 4, 2007 10:07 PM

                                                                                                                    This isn't frozen mind you - Chipotle chiles in adobo in a plastic container. I swear, everytime I smell it, it's still OK.

                                                                                                                    1. MaggieB Jan 4, 2007 09:30 PM

                                                                                                                      We just tossed a package of frozen pork chops the other day that had a sell by date of December 2002. They looked... sad.

                                                                                                                      1. NovoCuisine Jan 4, 2007 08:49 PM

                                                                                                                        A bottle of beer that's been in there for 4 years. Beer normally doesn't last longer than a few days in our fridge, but it has a custom-photo label.. and it's Blue (ew)

                                                                                                                        1. s
                                                                                                                          slynnkiino Jan 4, 2007 07:59 PM

                                                                                                                          A gigantic jar of preserved lemons (couldn't find a smaller size) from about six years ago. Used in tagines, but only one or two at a time. The jar's made two moves with me. I can't bring myself to throw it away. It may actually still be okay, but at this point I'm a little scared to look.

                                                                                                                          --Sarah
                                                                                                                          http://www.avenuefood.com

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: slynnkiino
                                                                                                                            Carrie 218 Jan 8, 2007 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                            I have used preserved lemons from five and six-year old jars. Should be fine! (They ARE preserved, after all!)

                                                                                                                            1. re: Carrie 218
                                                                                                                              adroit_minx Jan 8, 2007 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                              I was going to ask about preserved lemons and their longevity... when's the last time you used the lemons from that jar, and have you noticed the flavor compromised (or improved) in any way from them sitting around so long? I got a huge bag or organic meyers from Mom and was thinking about making a jar of it myself...

                                                                                                                              1. re: adroit_minx
                                                                                                                                Carrie 218 Jan 8, 2007 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                I made my lemons five or six years ago when I was really into Moroccan food. Now I'm hard-pressed to use a single lemon a year and they seem to be holding up just fine.

                                                                                                                                The trick, however, is NOT to pull them out with your fingers, but with tongs. Your fingers can add un-wanted microbes that will ruin the rest of the lemons (Paula Wolfert taught me this).

                                                                                                                                1. re: Carrie 218
                                                                                                                                  adroit_minx Jan 8, 2007 09:49 PM

                                                                                                                                  Thanks so much for the info... yeah, I pretty much avoid using fingers to pull things out of jars, like pickles and the such...it just never seemed like a good idea to me.

                                                                                                                          2. Sam Fujisaka Jan 4, 2007 05:07 PM

                                                                                                                            Ume boshi, Japanese vegetable pickles in sealed packs, dried game meat slices from Kenya and from Ethiopia: these are all from the Pleistocene and are gradually being consumed. Mexican tortillas, Italian cheeses, and fish sauces at least from this century, also being consumed. Different Japanese and Chinese noodles from the Neolithic, also being consumed.

                                                                                                                            Living in Colombia, I have to haul a lot of foods back here (and, no...the meats didn't go through the US) that get consumed at a judicious pace. I always leave with a near empty suitcase and come back loaded with food.

                                                                                                                            1. f
                                                                                                                              fooddiva Jan 4, 2007 04:37 AM

                                                                                                                              Garlic chili paste from 2001...It goes nowhere until I see mold!!! LOL! Yes, I still spoon from it.

                                                                                                                              1. phofiend Jan 4, 2007 04:23 AM

                                                                                                                                The last batch of puff pastry cookies my mom made before her death in 2001.

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: phofiend
                                                                                                                                  e
                                                                                                                                  eve Jan 4, 2007 04:53 AM

                                                                                                                                  Now you reminded me of something else--in a tribute to my father who died 12/02, we never disposed of his last favorite Little Debbies (the chocolate covered marshmallow pinwheels). They stay in the spot Dad always kept his supply and everytime we open the fridge, we are reminded of a happy time, sharing these (or me sneaking into his supply) We don't plan removing them anytime soon. They look fine but wouldn't plan on eating them.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: eve
                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                    melly Jan 5, 2007 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                                    Sweet. We have a bottle of wine that my mom made in 2000. She died in 2001. It's on top of the fridge..does that count?

                                                                                                                                  2. re: phofiend
                                                                                                                                    marmite Aug 6, 2007 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                    I have a hard-boiled Easter egg my friend made for me years ago. It's pink and has a sticker on it that says Grandma. I never ate it because I don't like hard-boiled eggs. My friend died a year ago and I remember him every time I see the egg, so it's staying. No, it doesn't smell at all.

                                                                                                                                  3. v
                                                                                                                                    vanillagrrl Jan 4, 2007 04:14 AM

                                                                                                                                    Definitely miso paste. I finally threw out the hot chili oil with orange rind that my sister made for me when she lived with us six years ago when we got a new refrigerator in October.

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: vanillagrrl
                                                                                                                                      Bob W Jan 4, 2007 07:51 PM

                                                                                                                                      We've got some vintage miso paste too, but it's not quite as old as the Marzetti's caramel dip I posted about earlier.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                        Snackish Jan 5, 2007 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                                        Mine was 8 years old when I bought it. I figure another couple years is nothing.

                                                                                                                                    2. p
                                                                                                                                      PrincessBakesALot Jan 4, 2007 03:30 AM

                                                                                                                                      A bottle of Korbel champagne that was a work gift sometime in the mid-90's. I think it moved with us too. Must be mighty tasty by now!

                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: PrincessBakesALot
                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                        Sister Sue Jan 4, 2007 03:42 AM

                                                                                                                                        I've got you beat. We have a bottle of champagne from our wedding in 1988. The bottle moved with us from our first apartment to a rental house to our first and now second purchased home.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Sister Sue
                                                                                                                                          adroit_minx Jan 4, 2007 04:11 AM

                                                                                                                                          And this bottle from 1988 is still in your FRIDGE? If so, that's just plain amazing. Bottles of cold champagne don't last very long in my house.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: adroit_minx
                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                            Sister Sue Jan 4, 2007 04:24 AM

                                                                                                                                            If I remember correctly, it wasn't very good back then. It has always been passed over for something better since.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sister Sue
                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                              Seldomsated Jan 4, 2007 08:55 PM

                                                                                                                                              Maybe you can improve it by making mimosas with it. I've made them with Odwalla orange juice, and even their tangerine juice - gets Vitamin C in you anyway! I'd only use a dry champ tho. Cheers!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sister Sue
                                                                                                                                                coll Dec 24, 2012 06:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                Unless it's vintage, champagne won't improve with age. Wondering if six years down the line it's still lurking in there? I have a really good recipe for champagne sauce (made with gruyere cheese) that's a nice sub for hollandaise on Eggs Benedict.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: PrincessBakesALot
                                                                                                                                            Will Owen Jan 5, 2007 06:08 AM

                                                                                                                                            Wow, you guys...I thought we were doing pretty bad with our bottle of Piper Sonoma brut that someone brought over in 2001! It's not there anymore, though - we took it along to a party the other night, with a backup bottle, since we figured it might well have died in there, but it turned out to be still just fine.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                              KaimukiMan Aug 9, 2007 02:54 AM

                                                                                                                                              I've got a bottle of cold duck that a friend gave me as a house warming present in 1990. It outlived the fridge that was here when I bought the place. I just keep it in there for sentimental reasons. Makes me smile to run across it when I dig that far into the back of the fridge.

                                                                                                                                              I did find a carton of eggs once when I was cleaning out. Have no idea how old they were, but they had completely dehydrated.

                                                                                                                                          3. chef chicklet Jan 4, 2007 03:15 AM

                                                                                                                                            sweet chili sauce 2004, lots of little jars of mustard from last Christmas, plum sauce -not sure but pretty sure its going on a couple years -couldn't believe it! tossed them all.

                                                                                                                                            1. jenniebnyc Jan 4, 2007 03:07 AM

                                                                                                                                              I found an opened bag of Whole Wheat tortillas that had a sell date of June 2006. They looked fine..no mold ...no nothing. I was horrified to find them nevertheless and chucked them over the weekend along with brown horseradish, oyster sauce, lingonberries, gooseberries, rasberry jam, pickles...need I go on. I'm ringing in the new year!

                                                                                                                                              1. Vexorg Jan 3, 2007 11:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                Pretty much all of the perishable content of my fridge got thrown out a couple of weeks back following a power outage, and even if there was anything left from that, it wouldn't be older than a year and a half or so. I do know there are some items that have probably been in my freezer for over a year though, and probably just need to be tossed since I'm never going to use them.

                                                                                                                                                1. r
                                                                                                                                                  Rocknrope Jan 3, 2007 11:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Brown juice and Green juice. What's the difference? Two weeks.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Glencora Jan 3, 2007 11:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Hoisin sauce from 2004. SO bought it to make kung pao pizza. Not one of his better efforts. Also some Hershey syrup from the last fourth of July. I think that stuff keeps forever.

                                                                                                                                                    1. e
                                                                                                                                                      eve Jan 3, 2007 10:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I think I had the same champagne mustard--which I ditched last week. I moved one year ago so I went by the rule that if I hadn't touched it in a year, it could go. Problem is that I moved the mustard with me so it had to be well over 1 year--likely 2-3 years.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: eve
                                                                                                                                                        kloomis Jan 3, 2007 11:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Seems like we always have 2 or 3 different mustards that could be REALLY old. I found one one that was a store brand from a store that had closed 2 years ago, and we had moved since then. Don't know why we would take it with us. Gross.

                                                                                                                                                      2. QueenB Jan 3, 2007 10:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I probably don't want to know...

                                                                                                                                                        1. Candy Jan 3, 2007 09:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                          We found that a bottle of soy sauce had solidified, there was not much left but it was solid. It was probably aroudn for 5 years or so.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Candy
                                                                                                                                                            rumgum Jan 5, 2007 10:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                            didn't know soy sauce could solidify.

                                                                                                                                                          2. x
                                                                                                                                                            xica14 Jan 3, 2007 09:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                            A Luna Bar from 2005

                                                                                                                                                            1. jfood Jan 3, 2007 08:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Refrigerator baking powder with the side half off to eat the smells. Onions always win.

                                                                                                                                                              1. h
                                                                                                                                                                Hungry Celeste Jan 3, 2007 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Katrina killed off my fridge's contents, so nothing pre-dates September 2005, when I re-stocked.

                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                                  Tonto Jan 5, 2007 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Me too. The worst job imaginable mucking all that putrid food into a garbage bag. Ugh!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tonto
                                                                                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                                                                                    Hungry Celeste Jan 6, 2007 09:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I was doing okay after the first fridge cleanout, but the third one nearly did me in: a fermented can of reddi-wip blew up in my face. I did laugh after lots and lots of gagging.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                                                                                                                                                      maplesugar Dec 24, 2007 11:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I volunteer at a local foodbank, and once and awhile people will donate frozen turkeys in the regular collection bins (sweet, and well meaning sure... but the bins aren't refrigerated). And every holiday staff end up cleaning up an exploded turkey. *gag*

                                                                                                                                                                      I don't have much in my fridge that predates 2007 but I did have to throw out a forgotten half & half container that had lingered at the back of the fridge about 2 weeks too long and wow I learned a whole new meaning for "best before." phew! :)

                                                                                                                                                                2. s
                                                                                                                                                                  SarahEats Jan 3, 2007 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Nothing too old in our fridge since we just moved a month ago (although I did toss a bunch of condiments that we brought with us from our previous apartment (2002), but in my freezer I have two loaves of bread from the Greenbrier that I bought in October 2004 with every intention of making their famous bread pudding. I know I should toss them, but it drives my husband nuts to see them in there and it's become a thing.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Bob W Jan 3, 2007 07:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    We have a tub of Marzetti caramel apple dip that is probably 6-8 years old and is perfectly good. This not only moved to a new fridge, it moved to a new house!

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bob W
                                                                                                                                                                      aussiewonder Oct 8, 2007 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh I thought I was the only one who moved house w/ out of date fridge contents! BF bought a turkey on sale after the holidays. i threw it in the freezer bc we were all turkeyed out. it stayed and stayed. i moved house. it stayed and stayed. needless to say, the turkey just got thrown out (five years after first purchase). i wasn't sure if it would be good to defrost and erred on the side of caution. incidentally, the bf left two years before the turkey!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: aussiewonder
                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal Jan 9, 2009 04:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        aussiewonder, i know this post is way late, but i have to commend you on your "thriftiness." i laughed out loud! your post "takes the cake," as we like to say! ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                        and i loved this line: " the bf left two years before the turkey!"

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Andiereid Jan 3, 2007 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Last month I threw out a jar of honey lime mustard dipping sauce that had never been opened that someone gave us when we moved here in 2000.

                                                                                                                                                                      I've even gotten a new refrigerator since then! I moved it to the new one! Oh, the shame!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. ipsedixit Jan 3, 2007 07:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Packet of miso (that I threw out over the holidays).

                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                                          prunefeet Jan 4, 2007 09:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Me too! It's probably about 3 years old. Not tossing it.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: prunefeet
                                                                                                                                                                            ipsedixit Jan 5, 2007 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Mine was from the early 90s.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                                              rumgum Jan 5, 2007 10:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              have an unopened pack of miso too, from last Spring (I think).

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rumgum
                                                                                                                                                                                Carrie 218 Jan 7, 2007 11:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                No reason to throw away old misos -- there are families that hand them down through generations and cherish the aged quality it attains. It is already fermented so other than scraping off any that might have hardened, it should still be great and getting better! (Mine is almost 10 years old!)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Carrie 218
                                                                                                                                                                                  rumgum Jan 8, 2007 03:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks. I always wanted to know.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rumgum
                                                                                                                                                                                    revsharkie Aug 5, 2007 10:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm glad to know this, too, because miso comes in such a big package and I don't use it very often.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: rumgum
                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                  soupkitten Aug 6, 2007 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  i have 3 misos, all between 6-18 months old. they are absolutely fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                    Caroline1 Dec 1, 2007 03:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Looks like we can start an antique miso group! But mine's only about three years old.

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