Melody Teh

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5 foods you shouldn’t store in the fridge

5 foods you shouldn’t store in the fridge

There are some foods that simply cannot stand the cold and if stored in the fridge will lose their flavour, texture and freshness. These five items are best stored in your pantry rather than the refrigerator.

1. Cucumbers

They’re often stored in the fridge but according to researchers at the University of California, storing the vegetable under 10°C actually causes “chilling injuries” to the cucumber. At low temperatures, the skin shrivels and pits, and the pulp turns mushy.

If you like your cucumbers chilled, pop them in the fridge an hour before you want to eat so the cold won’t do damage.

2. Garlic

Garlic bulbs are prone to developing shoots if stored in the fridge as the cold environment is similar to their growing conditions. It’s best to store garlic in place where it’s cool and with low humidity, like an airy pantry.

3. Chocolate

The fridge may seem like the obvious place to put a melting bar of chocolate, but unfortunately it’s not. Chocolate is sensitive to sudden temperature changes and can develop a white “bloom” that spoils the smooth texture of chocolate if stored in the fridge. Store well-wrapped chocolate at room-temperature, away from strong-smelling foods. 

4. Basil

Do you store the herb in the fridge to extend in shelf life? As delicate Mediterranean herbs such as basil come from warm, sunny climates, the chilled fridge temperature speeds up oxidisation, turning the leaves black and ruining the herb's scent and flavour. Store fresh basil at room temperature in a jar with water. This will lengthen its shelf life and prevent premature discolouration.

5. Bread

This may come as a shock to many but refrigerating bread doesn’t actually prolong its shelf life. While it may stop bread going mouldy, the cool, drying environment dehydrates the bread and speeds up the process of staling. Instead, store your bread in the freezer, which does extend the life of bread. 

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