I know that I am guilty of throwing almost all of my produce in the fridge the moment it makes it to the kitchen. Part of it is because I always thought that is what I was supposed to do and the other part is for fear of things such as fruit flies in the summer. Here are 5 items that should think twice about putting in the fridge.
1. Avocados- Avocados don’t start to ripen until after they’re picked from the tree. If you’re buying a rock-hard avocado, don’t store it in your refrigerator, as it slows the ripening process. However, if your avocado is already ripe, storing it in the fridge will help it from becoming overripe.
2. Tomatoes- The fridge is not the ideal place to store tomatoes because they loose their flavor. They’ll still be good for cooking, but not the best for eating fresh. Instead store them on your counter (not in direct sunlight) and enjoy them when they’re ripe.
3. Basil- Basil loves the heat, so extended periods of time in a cold environment like a refrigerator causes it to wilt prematurely. Basil will do best if it’s stored on your counter and treated as you would fresh cut-flowers.
4. Potatoes- They like cool, not cold temperatures. Most of us don’t have a root cellar (a cool, dark place to store root vegetables like potatoes), so keeping them in a paper bag in a coolish spot (like a pantry) is best because it’s more breathable then plastic so potatoes won’t succumb to rot as easily. Storing potatoes at cold temperatures converts their starch to sugar more quickly, which can affect the flavor, texture and the way they cook.
5. Onions- To develop and keep that dry outer layer, they need to be “cured” and kept in a dry environment like a pantry, which is not as damp as the refrigerator. Also, lack of air circulation will cause onions to spoil, as will storing them near potatoes, which give off moisture and gas that can cause onions to spoil quickly. Scallions and Chives are the exceptions since they have a high water content, so need to be kept in the fridge.