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Jun 22, 2008 07:48 PM

Confession: refrigerating "forbidden" items

A few weeks ago, I posted a query about onions that I kept on the counter sprouting and how to prevent this. More than a few people confessed that they refrigerate their onions, which I had never done before, but after finding out that quite a few people do that, I've started doing that, especially since the weather has been hot in this area and my apartment gets to over 100 degrees in the summer time.

Well, in the same vein, I feel like I'm going to get flamed or lectured at for confessing this, but I sometimes refrigerate tomatoes. Yes, I know they are supposed to be enjoyed room temp, and 80 percent of the time, I do this. I also know that the sugars turn to starch if you refrigerate them, so keeping them room temp keeps tomatoes sweeter. But when my apartment is over 100 degrees (as it was this weekend), I would sooner have an ice cold not-as-sweet tomato than one that is warm and fully sweet. So in this kind of weather, the tomatoes get refrigerated.

I keep them on the counter for as long as I can, and then the day of or before I plan to eat them, I stick them in the fridge.

Ok, thanks for letting me get my "crime" off my chest. Now I can go and enjoy my cold cold tomato salad guilt-free!

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  1. I have always refridgerated onions and sometimes tomatoes. When I was visiting my friend in Grenada, West Indies, EVERYTHING had to be refridgerated. There's bugs everywhere (they even survived microwaving lol). Bread, peanut butter, chips, you name it, it was in the fridge. The only things in the cabinets were canned goods.

    1. what an awful person, I don't wish you well.

      eh, I refrigerate (wrapped) if half-used, the only drawback I've really noticed is texture.

      consider that unless you bought your tomatoes local and/or organic they were picked green, boxed and gassed to artificially "ripen" a few weeks ago.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hill food

        Well, if it's half used, I put everything in the fridge, but I was talking about whole tomatoes (and now, onions, too, until it gets cooler again). I get my produce from the farmer's market, so I don't think they artificially gas them. Or at least I hope not.

        One of the stands I don't buy from anymore, b/c they once told me they put wax on their citrus fruit. I thought the whole point of getting stuff at the farmer's market was to reduce that sort of stuff. . ..

      2. Well, this is sure to draw frowns but I have chopped onions and put them in glass jars in the fridge for my kids who are cooking for themselves. A couple of them are inclined to take the very easiest way out in the kitchen and I want to encourage them to cook at home. They are more inclined to throw something together if the ingredients are ready to go. Frankly, I don't think it has had a negative impact on their results.
        When I don't use the whole onion I wrap and refrigerate it. If I'm not using them raw in a recipe I don't think it matters much.

        omg carey24, bugs survive the microwave? Tough bugs!

        2 Replies
        1. re: fern

          anzu, you actually listen to what people, ANY people, tell you to do? Or feel guilty if they tell you not to do things and then you do them anyway?

          Bah. Phui.

          I refrigerate everything. Everything.

          Have been doing so for eons. Couldn't care less what anyone tells me to the contrary. I live for the contrary.

          The food is fine. So am I.

          Rock on, anzu.

          1. re: fern

            fern, i do that with chopped onions, too. keep them in a little glass jar in freezer. easy to toss into sautes, tuna salad, you name it! makes it so easy when i don't want to chop onions!

          2. If I know that I'm not going to be eating tomatoes for a few days, I also refrigerate them because I don't want them to go bad. If I'm chopping a lot of onions, I refrigerate them as well so it won't make my eyes tear.

            1. At my house, it is only my husband and I. We live in a rural area pretty far from a food store. So things don't go to waste, I refrigerate everything - tomatoes, bread, apples, onions, sweet potatoes, etc.

              In regards to warm temperatures, I had the little gnats that appear everywhere in the summertime if I leave produce out - particularly bananas.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JenBoes

                I believe those little gnats you refer to are fruit flies. The easiest way to deal with them is a non-toxic product from Safer that's a little hollow cardboard wedge-shaped contraption with a sticky interior and a dose of bug attractant. Works like a charm for us!