There’s nothing like that fresh-from-a-grocery-run-full-fridge-feeling. When you have fresh produce and all your favorite treats stocked up. But if you just got back from the grocery store and you are struggling to find a place for all the items you came home with, you may start to wonder what items truly need to be in the fridge and which ones can be left on the counter. Here are a few candidates.
Depending how you were raised, the thought of keeping butter on the counter can either seem normal or repulsive. To some, non-refrigerated butter is a no-no since it is dairy. But the truth of the matter is that because butter is pasteurized and has a high fat content, bacteria does not easily grow on it even when left at room temperature. This is doubly true when the butter in question is salted butter, since salt is a natural preservative. Of course, most things will go bad if left for long enough but kept in a covered dish and consumed in a reasonable amount of time, butter is perfectly fine to keep on the counter.
In the United States, farmers choose to wash their eggs, which removes a protective layer from the shell and reveals its porous nature. If left unrefrigerated, bacteria can grow and work into the egg itself through these pores, which is why they shouldn’t be kept at room temperature. This is different if you source your eggs from local farmers or have chickens yourself. If the farm you get your eggs from vaccinates their chickens and does not wash their eggs, they can keep on the counter for up to two months.
Tomatoes are an excellent countertop candidate. Storing beautifully ripe tomatoes in the fridge is a sure way to zap all the flavor from them. Instead, keep vine-ripe tomatoes on the counter to ensure they stay as flavorful as possible. Once sliced and prepared, however, you should store them in the fridge and eat them within a few days.
Soft cheeses like mozzarella and brie should be kept in the fridge, but hard cheeses like parmesan, can actually remain unrefrigerated for some time. Keeping these types of cheeses in the fridge will help them last longer, but if you need something to sit out for a minute until space opens up on your fridge shelves, hard cheeses can handle the task.
The refrigerator has truly changed how we keep food in modern life, but not everything requires a stay in there. Next time your fridge is full, consider keeping these items out on the counter instead.
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By Eid-Co Homes 2-18-2022