Ever eaten a refrigerated tomato? Pretty gross, right?
It’s not that the tomato itself was necessarily bad, it’s that tomatoes are meant to live at room temperature. Refrigerating them alters their flavor and leads to a pasty, mealy texture that makes any tomato hard to like!
Since we’re currently at peak season for so many favorite fruits and vegetables, it’s a great time to revisit where to store our produce for maximum flavor, texture and nutritional value.
Below is a chart to help guide you after a trip to the farmer’s market or grocery store.
On the Counter
Keep the following fruits and vegetables at room temperature, on a platter or in a container that allows for air circulation – like a wire basket or colander.
|Nectarines*||Watermelon & Cantaloupe|
|Papayas||Winter squash (squashes with a thick skin)|
* Refrigerate after ripening to prolong the shelf-life
In the Fridge
Keep these items in their original packaging, or in light cloth or perforated plastic bags in the produce drawers.
|Green Beans||Celery||Lettuce/Leafy Greens|
|Cabbage||Figs||Summer Squash (zucchini)|
Remove fruits an hour or so before serving, since flavor is often better at room temperature.
In the Pantry
Store these items away from light and in a well-ventilated area, like a cupboard or pantry.
Store onions and potatoes away from each other, as they tend to make each other go bad more quickly.