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Highly useful link: produce storage

If, like me, you occasionally find yourself standing at the fridge with your newly bought bell pepper and wondering whether it really should go in there, or whether it might be happier living on the counter, dither no more!

This site has a rundown of where to store your fresh produce, and includes a handy chart you can print and stick to the fridge.

I have learned that I've been doing some fruits and veggies wrong. For instance, all fresh herbs except basil go in the fridge--ah ha, no wonder the basil kept turning black in there. Also, I tried her suggested way of keeping herbs fresh: snipping their ends and putting them in a glass of water, like flowers in a vase, then slipping a plastic bag over the top and refrigerating them. The cilantro I bought has stayed fresh for over a week now with this method--much longer than it does when trapped in its original plastic bag in the produce drawer.

Others I've been wrongly refrigerating when they should be on the counter: peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes. (Until you slice them up at least, presumably.) Meanwhile, plums and cherries should go in the fridge, when here I'd been storing them in the fruit bowl. They did seem to rot awfully fast that way, come to think of it.

Furthermore, keep those darn apples and pears and bananas away from other produce: they emit ethylene, which ripens other fruits and vegetables at an accelerated rate. However, you can use that to your advantage if you want to, say, ripen an avocado quickly for your guacamole.

Anyway, only a chef or a Food Sciences major could keep all this straight, so print the chart and enjoy your happy produce.

(And happy Memorial Day!)



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Hm...some of those things I've been doing all the time. I never store tomatoes in the fridge. We grow them from seeds. We leave them to ripen on a window ledge. They never wind up in the fridge at all. same thing with the cucumbers. Not because I knew to do that, but we eat them almost everyday in the summer.

They didn't say anything about these new storage bags in the grocery stores now. The green ones for produce, the red bags for storing deli meat, and the clear ones for storing bread. I've started doing that. It seems to work. The food does stay fresher longer.
May. 27th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
I bet when people grow the fruit/veggies themselves, they end up treating them right more often, even if unconsciously, just from being more familiar with them. That can be my excuse, anyway, since I've never grown tomatoes or cucumbers. :) (I think we technically could in Seattle, but you have to seize the right moment and pursue it, since we don't exactly have hot weather.)
May. 27th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
We always have a garden. Summer time, it's rare I buy veggies. We grow cucumbers, tomato, sugar snap peas, lettice, summer squash, etc. All grown form seeds. I don't think we've ever planted a pregrown plant. I don't like harvesting the lettice. All kinds of creatures get in them, since we don't use any pestisides. I remember sitting down to a dinner party, looking down at my salad with a coy snail in it, peering up at me.
May. 28th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
*laughs* Ew! Yeah, we like growing salad greens (lettuce, spinach, chard, etc.) since they do work well here, but washing them carefully is a must.
May. 28th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
The funny part is that snails of course are edible. Ugh...shudder. Poor thing. It was drowning in the dressing. I descretly covered him with a leaf. Everybody else was raving how fresh the salad was. I didn't eat mine.
May. 26th, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
Ooh, thanks! I'm definitely printing this out.
May. 27th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
No problem! I've meant to find such a thing for months now. Very handy.
May. 27th, 2009 06:16 am (UTC)
Sounds like somebody's nesting... ;-)
May. 27th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Hmm, maybe...though it's the kind of thing I've meant to look up for months, actually did find a few weeks ago, and only just got around to posting. So it may not count. But this weird desire to save every last flower seedling from getting stepped on (good luck, with a 3-year-old rampaging around), that may be maternity-related!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )