If there’s one thing the heat is good at, it’s making us sweat profusely. But it’s not just us as humans who need to cool down during high temperatures; some foods are also better off in a cold place during the summer. After all, bacteria and mould can multiply much faster in heat and high humidity. So that you don’t have to throw away food because the heat has caused it to spoil, we’ll tell you which foods are better off in the fridge now.
Usually, cold-sensitive vegetables should not be in the refrigerator. These include tomatoes and cucumbers, for example. Tomatoes lose their flavour over time at very low temperatures and become mealy. Cucumbers, on the other hand, become soft and watery. The ideal storage location for these vegetables would be a cool pantry or basement. However, if you don’t have either, you can put tomatoes and cucumber in the refrigerator for a few days. By the way, this also applies to peppers, zucchini and melanzani. However, the vegetables should not stay too long in the cold but rather be used quickly.
One more important note: Tomatoes ripen and emit the ripening gas ethylene, which can cause other fruits and vegetables to rot more quickly. Significantly affected are lettuce, carrots and cucumbers. As a matter of principle, they should not be placed in the same compartment as tomatoes.
Many types of fruit can be stored in the refrigerator without any problems. For example, apples, pears, strawberries, plums or cherries. Although they lose flavour over time, they stay fresh much longer due to the cold.
Nevertheless, you should ensure the fruits do not touch each other in the refrigerator compartment. Otherwise, mould spores could spread. In addition, the fruit should be washed just before eating; otherwise, the risk of spoilage increases.
With kiwis and figs, you don’t have to worry as much. This is because both can cope with low temperatures. So if you don’t want to enjoy them immediately in the heat, you should put them in the refrigerator to make them last longer.
Other foods that should be refrigerated
Bread and rolls also spoil more quickly in the heat. Warm, humid weather is tough on baked goods. Therefore, it is also advisable to put these products in the refrigerator. Whole loaves of bread keep much better than sliced bread, as the slices offer mould spores a larger surface to attack. Alternatively, however, sliced bread can be frozen and defrosted in portions. When temperatures become bearable again, however, bread and rolls should no longer remain in the refrigerator; otherwise, they become dry and lose flavour.
The heat also causes vegetable oils to go rancid more quickly. They should always be stored in a cool, dark place. This is especially important for cold-pressed vegetable oils, as they are more sensitive than refined cooking oils. Walnut, pumpkin seed, rapeseed and linseed oils are considered particularly sensitive. Therefore, storing the oils in the refrigerator after opening is advisable at high temperatures. In the case of linseed oil, the fridge is even mandatory! The valuable alpha-linoleic acid ensures that the oil oxidizes more quickly when it comes into contact with heat, light and oxygen.
Shelled nuts also rancid faster at high temperatures due to their high oil content. That’s why they should also go in the refrigerator after you transfer them to an airtight container.
What does not need to be in the refrigerator?
Bananas and other exotic fruits should not be in the refrigerator. Bananas are susceptible and otherwise suffer from cold shock. This causes them to turn brown, mushy and lose flavour. Pineapples, mangoes, papayas, oranges, tangerines and other citrus fruits are also unsuitable for the refrigerator. They will become blotchy and soft. Lemons and limes can be stored in a cool place but lose their flavour quickly.
Chocolate should also not be stored in the refrigerator. Even though there are always advocates of ice-cold chocolate out there – better stop it! The reason: High-quality chocolate has complex aromas – like a good wine. These cannot develop in the cold. In addition, chocolate tends to take on foreign odours – mainly white chocolate, then tastes like everything, just not as it should.
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