When it comes to what does and doesn’t go in the fridge, the mantra: ‘Store it how you bought it’, is a good rule of thumb to follow. However, there are always exceptions to the rule, and some products seem just as happy in the fridge as on the kitchen counter, like eggs – where are you meant to put eggs?
The truth is, it depends what country you bought your eggs in. In the US for instance, eggs are washed before sale, which removes their natural anti-bacterical ‘bloom’ (or coating). It means refrigeration is crucial if you want to avoid bacterial infection.
But in the UK and EU, eggs are not washed, so their ‘bloom’ remains intact, meaning you can keep them all cosy in their cardboard cartons, freeing up space in the fridge.
Still worried about freshness? The best way to test whether your eggs are fresh is to place them in a bowl of water – if they sink and lay on their side, they’re super fresh; if they stand on end, they’re still fresh enough to eat; and if they float, bin them, they’re way, way past their best.
Now we’ve solved the egg mystery, aside from the obvious (fish, meat, dairy), what else should you definitely be popping in the fridge?
Avocado: Ripen at room temperature, then refrigerate to keep fresh.
Soy sauce: Once open it’ll retain its flavour better in the fridge.
Grapes: Refrigerate to avoid them going wrinkly.
Corn on the cob: Should be eaten as soon as they’re picked, but that’s not always possible, so put them in the fridge as quickly as soon as you can instead.
Organic nut butters: Unlike your standard peanut butter, organic nut butters don’t tend to contain preservatives, so need to stay cold.
Ripe bananas: The fridge will slow the ripening process so they’ll keep longer.
Open jams: Unless you can eat a jar in one go, store in the fridge.
Wine that’s been opened: It’ll keep for a week or so, as long as it’s been recorked.
There are also some things that you might think should go in the fridge, but actually just prefer a cool, dark space:
Tomatoes: Taste better if they haven’t been chilled (same goes for strawberries and most other berries).
Potatoes: Actually go rancid more quickly in the fridge.
Onions: Half a cut onion will draw out odours from the fridge, but otherwise, they prefer hanging out in a canvas bag.
Bread: Will go stale far quicker in the fridge; get yourself a bread bin.
Garlic: Likes room temperature, will rot in the fridge.
Some products really are happy wherever though:
Citrus fruit: Look pretty and last well in a bowl on the counter, but can survive four times longer in the fridge.
Olive oil: Will solidify and go cloudy in the fridge, but once it’s warmed up again, it’ll be as good as new.
Parmesan: This hard cheese will fare well in or out of the fridge.
Honey: This stuff is completely non-perishable, no matter where you put it.