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Sure, the refrigerator is a godsend for preserving foods, keeping them fresh, and extending their shelf life. That said, you might not always be certain which ones need to be refrigerated and which ones don’t. While nothing lasts forever, these ingredients should definitely be stored in the refrigerator to maintain their viability in your best culinary creations.
To refrigerate or not refrigerate? The short answer is that in the United States, Australia, Japan, and Scandinavian countries, eggs are cleaned and store in the fridge to safeguard against bacteria. In other parts of the world, the protein-packed orbs are kept out at room temperature without hesitation.
In regions where eggs are not washed or refrigerated, the consensus is that eggs have a self-protecting layer against bacteria. Moreover, chickens are vaccinated before laying the eggs.
While there are two schools of thought regarding the storage of eggs, everyone agrees about the importance of sticking with one or the other from farm to home. Changing the environment of the eggs’ environment from refrigeration to room temp and back again causes them to sweat and form mold.
So you’ve loaded up on a variety of cheeses from the local monger and you’ve gotten them back to your home. Now what? Good question. Yes, you should refrigerate them. That said, be sure to prep them for the fridge first. Start by wrapping them up in cheese paper or wax and parchment if these are handier. In contrast to plastic, the paper prevents the cheeses from drying out but allows them to breathe and retain their unique flavors.
Try keeping your meticulously wrapped cheeses in the warmest section of your fridge, which usually means up front in a designated cheese drawer or the produce cubby.
There’s a variety of milk out there, from both animals and plants, and while they vary in shelf life, they have similar refrigeration needs. The rule of thumb is that any milk from livestock, such as cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and sheep’s milk, should always be refrigerated. This applies to both pasteurized and ultra-pasteurized milk, although the shelf life of the latter is significantly longer (until it’s opened).
Almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk that is shelf-stable is stocked in grocery stores on regular shelves, but once you bring it home and open it, you have to store it under refrigeration or it will spoil sooner, just like cow’s milk.
Learned something new about what should be kept in the fridge?
Next time we’ll let you know about some other foods!