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Potatoes in the fridge? Butter on the bench? The five second rule?! Whether you call them urban myths or old wives tales, there’s some interesting approaches to how to best store some types of food.
There’s probably too many idiosyncratic approaches out there to deal with, but we thought we could do everyone a favour and ask a few of our producers how best to store what they make.
Coffee in the cupboard? Or in the freezer?
Bec from Zentvelds Coffee sets us straight. Air is evil to coffee! Zentvelds vacuum pack their coffee into one way valve bags on the day of roasting. If you need your coffee ground, they’ll do that on the spot and vacuum pack again. Once you get it home, you can can leave a bag or jar on the bench for a few days, but pop the rest in the freezer for long term storage. Put it in an airtight container or bag and squeeze out as much air as you can. The coffee doesn’t freeze as such, but the dry conditions in the freezer will keep it in good condition. Worth also knowing that coffee doesn’t go off, it just slowly stales and is less delightful. The aromatic oils dry out over time so you get less of the wonderful crema and aroma with stale coffee.
Speaking of freezers…
Put your nuts (all nuts) in the fridge or the freezer. Ash from Barefoot Farm points out that pecans are often harvested in Australia between April and June. Beautiful freshly cracked pecan kernel is usually available shortly after harvest and maintaining new season freshness is very simple. Store pecans in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three months once opened. If you want to keep for them longer periods, put them in resealable bags and store in the freezer for up to 12 months. Happily, they’ve had a good crop this year and will have plenty of pecans for months to come!
Kurt from Bruns Bakery confirmed that the freezer is also the right spot for leftover sourdough. Wrap it in a bag and take it out when you need it again.
But room temperature is better for some things.
Well, for the eating at any rate! Jed, head honcho at Esperanza Farm, tells me the best way to store small goods is in the fridge in a paper bag or wrapped in grease proof paper. Pop them in the crisper or cheese/butter drawer or shelf. But make sure you take them out to come to room temperature for eating.
What about seafood?
Julie from JJ’s Seafood, told me some great tricks about how to best store fresh fish. For starters, don’t fillet a fish the day its been caught. Much like any protein, it fillets better when it has had a chance to set. So if you’ve bought a whole fish, the best way to keep it is wrapped in a damp towel in the fridge. You can keep it for up to three days. The same thing goes for fillets. Take them out of the plastic bag or container they came in and wrap in a damp cloth and eat within three days.
Put your eggs in the fridge, and don’t wash them! Katie from La Finca Booyong warns that the shells are porous so water will be absorbed by eggs. As will smells… So don’t put them next to a cut onion unless that’s the aroma you’re looking for. Now, if you happen to get your hands on a fresh truffle, that’s a different story!
Are there other foods you want to know how best to store? Let me know and we might have to do a second installment!