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Jan 6, 2011 10:47 AM

What's the oldest thing in your fridge?

At the moment it would be a large half-empty two-year-old bottle of Frank's hot sauce. Usually I make my own so the poor sap is just sitting there in the corner...

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  1. Ha ha great question.
    I recently defrosted my fridge and freezer so I cleaned all the old stuff out, but I have half a jar of capers that's almost two years old-due to expire in March.

    1. A small jar of capers. I remember, it was spring, and I decided I would stop hating capers. I bought them, and stuck them in the fridge, forgot about them, found them about a year later, examined the jar for an expiration date, found none, and stuck them back in the fridge. I've done this about once a year, I think, for at *least* the last five or so years. I suppose I should just throw them out, and put capers on the market list, because I do think I will now like capers.

      I moved a little over a year ago, and this list would have been scarier, but I was fairly disciplined when I cleaned out the fridge before the move. But I still brought the capers with me. I was shaking my head at myself as I tucked the jar into the cooler, but I still packed them.

      13 Replies
      1. re: onceadaylily

        Your description is HILARIOUS! It's so funny that you decided to take your little jar of capers with you when you moved. :-D

        1. re: onceadaylily

          I think the capers in my fridge are about 3 1/2 years old. Bought a huge jar when they were on sale... only to find out husband hates capers! Won't throw them out though...

          1. re: cheesecake17

            What's hilarious is that the first three to chime in all have the same culprit. Adam replied as I was still typing, so it wasn't even like my memory was jogged by his response. Damn capers.

            1. re: onceadaylily

              ha ha
              Too funny. I guess its one of those ingredients where you have to buy more than you need and then you forget about them after you prepared that dish.
              I bought them once when I made some smoked salmon canapes for a party. Have touched not them since.

              1. re: AdamD

                I just spent the last half hour digging through the internet to see if I should toss these (including a chowhound discussion that had some 'collapsed' answers, which I think was prompted by the examination of said capers circa spring 2010), and found reassuring answers, and two recipes for fried capers.

                I'm doing it. I'm frying those capers.

                1. re: onceadaylily

                  Food for thought.
                  I was just going to buy more smoked salmon or use them in an Italian style chicken braise with some tomato, oregano and garlic

                  1. re: onceadaylily

                    I was just going to get more smoked salmon or use them in an Italian style chicken braise with tomato and oregano.

                    1. re: AdamD

                      This method seemed not only suitable for a salad, but I'm hoping the frying will help with any loss of flavor or texture that my, um, aging methods may have created.

                      1. re: onceadaylily

                        When I opened the capers, the smell of acetone filled the air. I rinsed a few spoonfuls, and we each tasted one of the rinsed capers. It was mushy, and it tasted like nail polish remover. I threw them in the trash.

                        And I just realized that I threw the rinsed ones away, but put the jar back in the fridge.

                2. re: onceadaylily

                  Was just wondering about the health and safety of my antique caper jar today as well. How old can they get before I need to throw them away??

                  1. re: ette

                    I think pretty old is ok because they are either super salted or doused in plenty of vinegar. Exact timeline not sure.

                    I plan on using my capers in the next 5 minutes in a chicken dish.

                    1. re: ette

                      I did a bit of research after I smelled what prompted me to toss it (the 'nail polish remover' smell. That seems to be a smell worth taking note, as the vinegar itself has gone off, and will permeate the dishes the ingredient is used in.

                      The capers themselves had lost their firmness, and, even without that smell, would have been judged as past their prime.

                      If you open the jar, and it smells merely of the foodstuff within, and a sample caper is still firm to the tooth, then they are likely fine. The smell when I opened the jar was not something you would miss, or question. It is possible that the vinegar used in my capers was suspect, and that your capers, even at the same age, would be just fine. Trust your nose and tongue.

                  2. re: cheesecake17

                    FYI, for those who hate capers, try another jar. The last jar and of course the largest I ever bought was from BJ's and just horrible. All prior jars were quite nice.

                3. sourdough starter. started 4/2006, i think.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: eLizard

                    same here! My starter is about 8 years old.
                    I feed her weekly.

                    1. re: Novelli

                      me too...but only about 3 years old. My kombucha culture comes in second. With all the feeding its almost like a zoo in there. :)

                  2. Funny! A half-finished jar of hot sauce that says it gets better with age, but after a couple years I'm scared to see if that's true! Yet, I can't bring myself to throw it out either :)

                    1. 5-year-old A1 steak sauce? 8-year-old Worcestershire? I'm sure I have vinegars older than that.