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Jan 2, 2012 03:42 PM

Items that last for weeks Or months in the fridge?

As the weather turns cold, I am interested in what foods (NOT recipes, NOT spreads or condiments) last for months in the fridge.

For example:

What other foods or items last multiple weeks (even months, if that is possible) through the winter?

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  1. Don't store potatoes in the frige. It changes the flavor and they'll shrivel/rot faster. Potatoes are best stored in a dark cool cabinet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: weezieduzzit

      According to the eminent Harold McGee, the temperature threshold is 47F: below that, potato starch increasingly converts to sugar, and potatoes stored in such conditions should not be fried, et cet., as they will scorch.

      IIRC, if you give potatoes a couple of days at room temperature after refrigeration, the conversion process can be somewhat reversed.

    2. Winter squashes (butternut, acorn), turnips & rutabagas, leeks. Also, smoked meats (turkey or pork parts) and some cheeses (I have 1/3 of a whole stick of smoked gouda from last year, wrapped well and in the coldest part of the fridge) that has yet to see mold or have it's flavor change.

      I second keeping potatoes in the fridge, especially red potatoes. Some people swear by not keeping them in the fridge; I have never had a problem with them in the bottom crisper.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Cherylptw

        I kept ours in the fridge for years b/c there was no where in the house to store them without them going rotten in about 3 weeks. And I couldn't get through a 5lb bag fast enough. The smell of rotten potatoes is just brutal so in the fridge they went.

        Now in our new house we have a dedicated cold storage area. It's worked out well so far although last night I did notice the potatoes starting to sprout. And I haven't seen that in yrs (since we always kept them in the fridge). I heard throwing an apple in there should help. I hope so or back in the fridge they go. I just can't eat potatoes that often to keep up with them turning.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            5lb is the smallest I can find. Not to mention our favorites ones, I can only find at a grocery store in our old neighbourhood. I was trying to stock up on them and now that they are starting to strout that may be backfiring on me. Hmmm. I threw an apple in their yesterday. Have to wait and it's unusally warm this winter so the cold store area isnt' as cold as I'd like.

            1. re: livetocook

              There are only two of us. I buy individual potatoes. It is more economical than having 1/2 a 5 lb bag go bad. I don't refrigerate potatoes.

              1. re: livetocook

                Can't you select and buy loose potatoes?

                1. re: mcf

                  I can and may do it but, the wee one likes this brand the best. It's bizarre. She'll eat other potatoes but she wolfs these ones down like they are going outta style. And funny enoug, I find they taste way better then so many others I've bought so I kind of don't mind it.

                  Makes me a little proud that she has that discernible of a palate to know which potatoes are the yummiest (although this is also a frustration for any parent when they just want their kid to eat what's in front of them too. A potato is a potato for peeks sake. ;o))

                  1. re: livetocook

                    Well, please share what variety they are! And lucky you to have more than reds or whites to choose from. (I actually have reds, whites and yellows to choose from.)

                    1. re: sueatmo

                      Well, I'm in Canada so this probably won't help if you are american or even from eastern canada (they don't necessarily get the same as us in the west). The brand is Adora and it's from Manitoba. Don't really know what type they are but, they are yellow. I could probably get almost any kind here in our city if I look hard enough, especially at the Farmer's market where I've even seen the blue/purplely ones (??)

                2. re: livetocook

                  oh, dear! am sorry, lol. had read that as a 50 pound bag! sorry!

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    meh, whateves. It made me think, "why DON'T I just buy less?" Kind of something new to me right now is wasting less. So I'm thinking about everything in my house and seeing those potatoes sprouting really ticked me off.

                    Found the Adora website. Still doesn't say what type of potato it is. Ooh but they tout them as "gourmet" lol


                    1. re: livetocook

                      The description makes them sound a bit like Yukon golds.

          2. Cryovac ham. Or any meat that is cryovaced, look at the sell by date.

            Cream cheese, and other factory wrapped cheesed, ditto.

            Or are you just talking about produce?

            1. Are you talking about storage so that the food remains safe to eat, or remains good (or tasty) to eat?

              Like a head of broccoli can last in the fridge for a month and remain safe to eat, but whether it is still good to eat -- that I'm not so sure about.

              13 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                i moved last year and my new fridge seems to have magical keeping capacities. even iceberg lasts a month and is still just fine. i realize this is not the norm.

                cheese, eggs and yogurt have always been long keepers for me in all cases.

                i do not store onions or potatoes in the fridge.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  What is the make and model of this magical fridge?

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  Hi, I am talking about storage so that the food remains safe to eat.. semi-joking, I put hotsauce on a lot of items, so it's not like I am really going to notice if it is EXTREMELY tasty.

                  1. re: GraceW

                    If that's the case, it might be easier to ask for items that will NOT last in the fridge.

                    Let me give you an example.

                    I once had a supermarket rotisserie chicken in my fridge for nearly a year (probably around 10-12 months). Popped it open, and while it was a bit dry, it was not moldy and still clearly edible. Let's put it this way, it was extremely tasty if you considered it "chicken jerky".

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Well the rationale behind the question is.. I essentially live out of my freezer for different protein options and shop multiple times a week for fresh produce (besides canned goods in a pinch), but as the weather turns colder, I feel the need to Not constantly shop for produce... so I am trying to find more options that keep for longer.

                      1. re: GraceW

                        Apples, oranges and bananas last almost forever in the fridge.

                        Things with a soft, or edible, skin like grapes, berries, etc., can easily go up to 2 weeks, if not more.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I'm lucky if strawberries last more than 5 days! I have this problem even when they are in season. A week in and I'm throwing many away

                          (But blackberries last about 10 -14 days. Same with Blueberries)

                          1. re: livetocook

                            Store unwashed berries (all types of berries) in a glass jar. They will last longer.

                            1. re: Cathy

                              That works for washed ones, too... just blot them and air dry for a while before putting in the jar.

                              1. re: livetocook

                                Keep them in the freezer... I know this kind of ruins the fresh factor, but frozen blueberries and semi-frozen strawberries are actually delightful. (And I am a fruit addict, so if I keep it in the freezer, I don't eat all of my good berries at once.)

                            2. re: GraceW

                              broccoli, cabbage, red peppers and jalapenos, celery and carrots all last a few weeks at least.

                      2. The carrots from my CSA have an incredibly long shelf life in my fridge. A couple winters ago, we got an abundance of them (think 10 lbs when all was said and done) and didn't use the last of them until the following fall.

                        I can get a month out of well wrapped celery. I find that beets, turnips, kohlrabi, cabbage all have a very long life in the fridge too.

                        I also keep buttermilk for much longer than the expiry date suggests.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: agoodbite

                          Nearly embarrassed to admit it (esp. given the thread on food waste), but I just found & unwrapped (from foil) celery from Thanksgiving--good heavens, it's still crispy. I also keep buttermilk, even after it's "clabbered," which is what my Mom always used for biscuits.