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Chilling out

Paulustrious Oct 24, 2009 04:39 AM

Does anybody know of a list of foods that should not go in the fridge?

  1. Veggo Oct 24, 2009 05:46 AM

    I'll start. Honey, Iberico ham, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, red wine.

    23 Replies
    1. re: Veggo
      fourunder Oct 24, 2009 05:55 AM

      At least for me....I'll add potatoes and onions.

      1. re: Veggo
        chicgail Oct 24, 2009 07:19 AM

        I keep butter and eggs in the fridge, but I noticed that they stay out in Italy and they were fine. It takes me a week or more to use up a stick of butter or a dozen eggs so I'm torn about whether to keep them on the counter (the advantage of having soft butter is obvious) or refrigerate them.

        1. re: chicgail
          Paulustrious Oct 24, 2009 07:22 AM

          Eggs can stay out quite a long time provided they are not fertilized, cracked or washed.

          1. re: chicgail
            fourunder Oct 24, 2009 07:25 AM

            When butter is purchased, it goes directly into the fridge, but unless it's summertime, once a stick of butter is removed for use, it always stays out in a butter dish until finished. I always toyed with the idea of purchasing this item strictly for keeping butter on the counter.


            1. re: fourunder
              kattyeyes Oct 24, 2009 08:07 AM

              My mom totally loves the Butter Bell! She first saw one at a friend's house. I wouldn't mind one myself.

              1. re: kattyeyes
                chef chicklet Oct 24, 2009 10:18 AM

                I have one. I always forget to use it though!

            2. re: chicgail
              foodpoisoned Oct 24, 2009 07:26 AM

              You can get a butter keeper that will keep butter safely on the counter (sort of suspended upside down with a thin layer of cold water to seal the jar), but I've been keeping mine on the counter for years (in a regular covered butter dish) with no problems. It doesn't last long - I buy it, put it in the refrigerator, and leave about half a stick at a time on the counter, so I go through it quickly.

              I generally refrigerate any produce that is refrigerated when I buy it...otherwise it stays on the counter. That tends to work as a pretty good general rule. I don't refrigerate coffee (I know a lot of people keep it in the fridge or freezer).

              1. re: foodpoisoned
                Paulustrious Oct 24, 2009 07:59 AM

                For most of my childhood we did not have a fridge. Butter was kept in an unglazed covered ceramic (think brick) container with water. Evaporation from the ceramic kept is reasonable cool - at least below melting point.

              2. re: chicgail
                mojoeater Oct 24, 2009 08:50 AM

                I much prefer butter at room temp and keep it in a butter dish on the counter except in the hottest summer days. Hard butter is no fun.

              3. re: Veggo
                JoanN Oct 24, 2009 10:44 AM

                I think it must be a myth that you shouldn’t refrigerate avocados. I do it all the time to no ill effect. I refrigerate them to delay ripening, then put them on the counter two or three days before I think I’ll need them. If they ripen too quickly, or if I don’t need them when I thought I would, I wrap them in plastic and refrigerate until needed. Some spoiling does result after about a week, but even then I just cut off the bad spots and the rest of the avocado tastes fine.

                1. re: JoanN
                  Scargod Oct 24, 2009 01:46 PM

                  I do too. Though I seldom do, I see no reason not to put onions and potatoes in the fridge, if you have the room.

                2. re: Veggo
                  c oliver Oct 24, 2009 10:50 AM

                  If bananas are totally ripe but I'm not ready for them, I refrigerate them. The outside will get black but the inside remains "correct" longer than if left out.

                  1. re: c oliver
                    kattyeyes Oct 25, 2009 06:12 AM

                    HA HA! My mom recently threw ripe bananas in our freezer to "save" them for later. No word on how good they are post-thaw, though I imagine they'll be OK. They're still up there. They look so weird hanging out in the deep freeze!

                    1. re: kattyeyes
                      Scargod Oct 25, 2009 06:30 AM

                      Friends did it all the time for smoothies, later. It does kind of look like a fruit graveyard, does't it? But what's the diff? I've got dead animals in there already.

                      1. re: Scargod
                        kattyeyes Oct 25, 2009 06:35 AM

                        'tis the season for a fruit graveyard after all. That's funny. Good point about the dead animals (from the supermarket, anyway!). Good idea re smoothies. We usually make banana bread or muffins.

                        1. re: kattyeyes
                          Scargod Oct 25, 2009 07:20 AM

                          "We usually make banana bread of muffins."
                          Is that like twice-cooked pork or just efficient recycling of muffins?

                          1. re: Scargod
                            kattyeyes Oct 25, 2009 07:40 AM

                            Proof that when multitasking, people are usually doing more than one thing ineffectively. Corrected to say "banana bread OR muffins"...though your comment was amusing. ;)

                      2. re: kattyeyes
                        chicgail Oct 25, 2009 07:46 AM

                        I love eating frozen bananas (they have to be peeled before you freeze them) and frozen grapes. Both treats have a rather obscene nature to eating them, but they are delightful.

                        1. re: chicgail
                          kattyeyes Oct 25, 2009 07:53 AM

                          One of our local chocolate stores (Munson's in Connecticut) offers chocolate-covered frozen bananas as a specialty item. :) That would be a fun and rather easy thing to do at home (not with black bananas, of course, which are reserved for baking).

                        2. re: kattyeyes
                          Davwud Oct 27, 2009 06:47 AM

                          They will be completely much. They'll taste the same but not good for eating.

                          There are however plenty of recipes (such as banana bread or ice cream) which tell you to freeze the bananas to get that custardy texture.


                          1. re: Davwud
                            kattyeyes Oct 29, 2009 06:25 PM

                            Yup, that's exactly what my mom was saving 'em for (banana bread). She said it came out great! :)

                            1. re: kattyeyes
                              Davwud Oct 30, 2009 06:55 AM

                              I just noticed my typo. Completely mush is what I meant. But I guess you got that.


                      3. re: Veggo
                        chowser Nov 1, 2009 09:45 AM

                        If I'm organized enough, I put red wine in the refrigerator 15-20 minutes before serving, especially in warm weather. I like it slightly colder than room temperature, especially warm room temperature.

                      4. Veggo Oct 24, 2009 08:13 AM

                        A wedge of nice brie on a plate with a glass cover is good for at least 3 days on a counter. I have never had one make it to day 4.

                        1. shaogo Oct 24, 2009 10:30 AM

                          Perhaps the refrigerator does no *harm,* but olive oil's rendered solid by time in the fridge. I keep mine in the pantry.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: shaogo
                            chicgail Oct 24, 2009 12:29 PM

                            Never heard of olive oil in the fridge, although some people do worry about oils going rancid and the colder temperature helps delay that process.

                          2. v
                            vstock Oct 25, 2009 09:24 AM

                            Honey, pepper jelly, mustards. My grandmother keeps her mayo in the pantry and has for her 88 years...I always have a stick of butter in a butter keeper for use....in 20 years I have only had one stick go bad, and it was very apparent.

                            1. Cherylptw Oct 25, 2009 06:12 PM

                              I keep my mustard & jellies in the fridge once opened. I live where it's humid most of the year and if I didn't keep most things cool, they'd rot including tomatoes, potatoes & onions.

                              Peanut butter shouldn't go in the refrigerator!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Cherylptw
                                alkapal Oct 31, 2009 04:43 PM

                                i put my natural peanut butter in the fridge. what's the problem?

                                1. re: alkapal
                                  chowser Nov 1, 2009 09:44 AM

                                  Spreading it.

                                  1. re: chowser
                                    Michelly Nov 2, 2009 04:38 PM

                                    Just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds until it's spreadable.

                              2. c oliver Oct 25, 2009 06:59 PM

                                I think OP is asking about foods that SHOULD NOT go in the fridge rather than those that don't have to go in the fridge.

                                42 Replies
                                1. re: c oliver
                                  Scargod Oct 25, 2009 07:16 PM

                                  You keep 'em straight CO! Add canned foods, dried pasta and rice to the list.

                                  1. re: Scargod
                                    c oliver Oct 25, 2009 07:23 PM

                                    Smarty britches! I'm still confused about the whole avocado issue. I never heard about not refrigerating them so then I stopped. Now some say, once ripe they CAN be chilled. Inquiring minds want to know... WTF?????????????????????

                                    1. re: c oliver
                                      kattyeyes Oct 25, 2009 07:25 PM

                                      Well, wouldn't putting it in the fridge (once ripe) prolong freshness if you couldn't use the avo right away--kinda like the bananas in the freezer trick?

                                      1. re: kattyeyes
                                        c oliver Oct 25, 2009 07:30 PM

                                        That's what I always thought. Even if I'm giving up some flavor (am I?), I figure that's better than letting it rot outside the fridge. Vegoo, please elaborate :

                                        1. re: c oliver
                                          Veggo Oct 25, 2009 07:47 PM

                                          JoanN who posted above is exactly right that refrigeration will delay the ripening of avocados. All fruiterias in Mexico have avocados "para hoy" ( for today) ,but often manage the ripeness of the following days' produce with refrigeration. There is no loss of flavor, just serve them at room temp, same as tomatoes. It's nice to have Haas year round, but they are sometimes pricey here.

                                          1. re: Veggo
                                            c oliver Oct 25, 2009 08:00 PM

                                            In Brazil, it's "para hoje." Hass are expensive here also. Anytime I can find for under $1, I buy. In Rio I saw them for $5 each. I DID NOT BUY.

                                            1. re: c oliver
                                              Passadumkeg Oct 25, 2009 10:49 PM

                                              CO, could the avacados have been (past perfect tense) out of season? In Bolivia, we had a big tree, just ouside our kitchen door. They were dirt cheap, 10 for a dollar at the open air markets.
                                              Garlic, melons until cut, vinegar based sauces, soy sauce, oils, stay out of the fridge. Ours is small, by American standards.

                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                DallasDude Oct 25, 2009 11:32 PM

                                                I bought nice and tasty avocados this weekend at a local Mexican market in Dallas six for a dollar. I was amazed.

                                                1. re: DallasDude
                                                  alkapal Oct 31, 2009 04:44 PM

                                                  hass avocados are on sale this week here in arlington, virginia at 4/$5 (at giant, for you locals who are interested).

                                                  dallas dude, you are lucky! 6 for a buck? wow!

                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                    c oliver Oct 31, 2009 04:56 PM

                                                    I found them at Safeway (I think it was Safeway) 2/$1 the other day.

                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                      coll Nov 1, 2009 03:18 AM

                                                      I just got them 4 for $3.50, the price is coming down finally. When I was in California, my sister and I bought some off the back of a truck, 10 for $1, but BIL got mad because he said those are the ones they pick up off the ground. So she went back to swiping them out of her neighbors yards (they live in an ex-avocado farm and she swears they don't care!) Those free ones are the best tasting of all, for several reasons ;-)

                                                      1. re: coll
                                                        Paulustrious Nov 1, 2009 04:15 AM

                                                        Avocados are unusual in that they only ripen when they are detached from the tree. There is one other common fruit that does this, and there is a special name for it.

                                                        Both of which I have forgotten.

                                                        Edit: Bless little google's heart. Banana and Climacteric.

                                                        1. re: Paulustrious
                                                          alkapal Nov 1, 2009 02:11 PM

                                                          climacteric (i thought of menopause) and non-climacteric fruit are listed here: http://www.quisqualis.com/Climacteric...

                                                          """"In very general terms a climacteric fruit can be picked from the tree at full size or maturity but before it is 'ripe' and allowed to ripen off the tree. Generally there is an increase in flavor quality, juice, sugars and other factors. Again, in general terms, non climacteric fruits tend to maintain what ever quality they had at harvest without many beneficial changes.

                                                          More technically, in climacteric fruit 'ripening' is controlled by the fruits production of Ethylene and a significant increase in CO2 production. Non climacteric fruit produce little or no Ethylene and no large increase in CO2 production. Some fruits are picked full sized and green in color and held under refrigeration with Ethylene gas added to make them suitable for sale. It seems that much of what we know about the ripening of non climacteric fruit remains poorly understood.""""

                                                        2. re: coll
                                                          c oliver Nov 1, 2009 03:55 PM

                                                          What's the problem with picking them up off the ground? Seriously. If she's "swiping" then they probably DO care, don't you think?

                                                          1. re: c oliver
                                                            coll Nov 2, 2009 12:38 AM

                                                            When you pick them off the ground, you can get salmonella.

                                                            The neighbors told her she could help herself but she liked to act secretive about it anyway. It was a fun game for her, it's not like she couldn't afford to buy all she wanted.

                                                            1. re: coll
                                                              alkapal Nov 2, 2009 04:57 AM

                                                              i was wondering when you said salmonella....how could that work? then i wiki'd and saw that salmonella can live in dried excrement for weeks. hence, avocado under tree -- if pooped on by an infected animal -- could be very bad news.

                                                              couldn't you just wash it really well? i mean, we pick up key limes from under the tree. and mangoes, iirc. certainly some oranges, if they look ok.

                                                              i guess i just never entertained the idea of salmonella from this vector.

                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                coll Nov 2, 2009 05:49 AM

                                                                I learned about this when organic apple juice that wasn't pasteurized some years back caused several deaths. You will probably be OK if it's your own backyard, but big open fields with wild things roaming at night....and another concern is when there are no outhouses in the fields for the workers.

                                                                I don't remember if we washed those avos, but I do know we ate them and didn't get sick. I did start thinking about how high off the ground things grow and washed accordingly. But anyway the thing is, those avocados we bought were illegal, there was a law prohibiting avocados that had touched the ground from being sold, and that's why the ones off the back of the truck were so cheap.

                                                                Here's a little more info I just looked up http://www.foodsafety.ksu.edu/en/arti...

                                                                1. re: coll
                                                                  alkapal Nov 2, 2009 01:37 PM

                                                                  thanks. very interesting.

                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                    Scargod Oct 26, 2009 04:47 AM

                                                    Speaking of past perfect; para ayir es gratis? "For yesterday is it free?"

                                                    Uncut onions.
                                                    Avocados in the fridge: no problema. Warm them back up to room temp...

                                                    1. re: Scargod
                                                      Paulustrious Oct 26, 2009 09:37 AM

                                                      Not quite following the Spanish reference. Is it the equivalent of 'free beer tomorroww' or 'jam tomorrow'?

                                                    2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                      c oliver Oct 26, 2009 03:01 PM

                                                      They have other avocadoes that are the size and shape of large grapefruit which are everywhere and I assume to be local. I'm guessing the Hass ones were imported but I don't know that.

                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                        coll Nov 1, 2009 03:19 AM

                                                        I believe Haas is from Mexico and California, and the giant ones are from Florida. I think they call them Alligator Avocadoes?

                                                        1. re: coll
                                                          alkapal Nov 1, 2009 03:58 AM

                                                          there are different varieties of avocado in florida, just as there are different varieties of mango. as to the size of the florida avocados, yes, in general, they are larger than the typical hass i'm seeing lately in the grocery (btw, are these seeming to get smaller?).
                                                          the varieties in florida derive from west indian, guatemalan and mexican stock: http://www.avocadosource.com/CAS_Year...

                                                          1. re: coll
                                                            c oliver Nov 1, 2009 04:00 PM

                                                            Here's a pix that shows how big:


                                                2. re: kattyeyes
                                                  just_M Nov 1, 2009 09:39 AM

                                                  Avocados also freeze well for use in guac or just to smear.

                                                  1. re: just_M
                                                    c oliver Nov 1, 2009 04:00 PM

                                                    Really? What's the texture like? I like chunky guac.

                                                    1. re: c oliver
                                                      just_M Nov 1, 2009 07:30 PM

                                                      I like chunky guac too and this spreadable like the bagged stuff from the grocery. I've only done this twice once on the *final*, final check of the house before a trip and once when I came across the produce guy pulling a bunch of overripe ones and I got the box for $2; at that price I'm willing to deal. Adding fresh chunks to the creamy base was a good compromise.

                                                      1. re: just_M
                                                        c oliver Nov 1, 2009 07:33 PM

                                                        Thanks. There are those times when I've had to throw some out. Sacrificing texture is worth it.

                                              2. re: Scargod
                                                fourunder Oct 26, 2009 06:43 AM

                                                Add canned foods...
                                                Does Tomato or V-8 Juice count as a food or simply a beverage?


                                                1. re: fourunder
                                                  coll Oct 26, 2009 01:37 PM

                                                  Both, and also ketchup should never go in the fridge in case anyone does that.

                                                  1. re: coll
                                                    mojoeater Oct 26, 2009 02:35 PM

                                                    If ketchup gets too hot, it will burst through the top and create a heck of a mess. I've seen it happen in restaurants with no AC.

                                                    1. re: mojoeater
                                                      coll Oct 27, 2009 02:26 AM

                                                      I've worked in many restaurants and never saw anything like that. Ketchup was always stored at room temp, and often in the kitchen area, which is pretty hot. I can't even imagine how that would happen!

                                                    2. re: coll
                                                      c oliver Oct 26, 2009 02:59 PM

                                                      Why should ketchup not be refrigerated?

                                                      1. re: c oliver
                                                        coll Oct 27, 2009 02:23 AM

                                                        Mainly because room in my fridge is limited, but also room temp you can taste it better. Ice cold doesn't do it for me.

                                                      2. re: coll
                                                        chicgail Oct 27, 2009 05:37 AM

                                                        Doesn't the bottle say "keep refrigerated?" Is that just a legal/corporate CYA?

                                                        1. re: chicgail
                                                          coll Oct 27, 2009 06:37 AM

                                                          I totally ignore most "Keep refrigerated" and also "Best By" dates, I figure they're just marketing tools to make you think the stuff's gone bad and you have to throw out and buy more. I trust my eyes and nose.

                                                          Here's lots of different opinions

                                                          1. re: coll
                                                            alkapal Oct 31, 2009 04:47 PM

                                                            i'm with you, coll.

                                                            1. re: coll
                                                              c oliver Oct 31, 2009 04:57 PM

                                                              I never thought of that. Good point. I have a can of Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough that's probably months past its date. I won't hesitate to fix.

                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                alkapal Oct 31, 2009 05:05 PM

                                                                speaking of refrigerated dough, i've been trying to really clean out my fridge, and use up stuff, so i used a roll of very out-of-date pillsbury crescent buttery rolls to make little pouches full of smoked salmon, cream cheese, and minced chives.
                                                                quite good -- except i'm tired of the "sweet" flavor in the pillsbury dough.
                                                                ps, c, good deal on the avocados. guac it is?

                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                  DallasDude Oct 31, 2009 06:06 PM

                                                                  Yes it is stuff guacamole is made from, and great sliced on sandwiches and just about anything else.

                                                                  New ad has em at 7 for a buck, Let the guac wars begin!

                                                                  1. re: DallasDude
                                                                    alkapal Oct 31, 2009 06:19 PM

                                                                    dallas dude, i grew up in sw florida, so am quite familiar with our friend, the avocado.

                                                                    ps: my latest fave sandwich is avocado, turkey, bacon salt, mayo on white.

                                                          2. re: coll
                                                            ipsedixit Nov 1, 2009 12:42 AM

                                                            Sometimes I prefer my ketchup cold, esp. on a plate of scrambled eggs.

                                                    3. d
                                                      danieljdwyer Oct 29, 2009 01:10 PM

                                                      Winter squashes should not be refrigerated. The refrigerator does a good job of mimicking the conditions squash has evolved to begin to rot under. They keep a lot longer under any conditions, even hot weather, high humidity, and sunlight, but the best conditions for them are in a root cellar.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: danieljdwyer
                                                        coll Nov 1, 2009 03:23 AM

                                                        OK I'd better start digging ;-)

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