There are impostors in your refrigerator! Foods that you may think need refrigeration, but in reality, are totally fine without it.
My husband and I have a battle every time we get home from the farmers' market. I'm a "leave it on the counter" kind of gal, and he wants to throw everything in the refrigerator. Naturally, I checked the Internet the last time we argued over tomatoes, and voila! Refrigerating tomatoes sucks the flavor right out of 'em and leaves them mealy. Gross.
I found other foods that I could relax my storage standards on as well. While some of these may maintain "freshness" for a longer period of time if you throw them in the fridge, most are just fine without the extra chill.
So now we'll be going European with seven more foods that you can liberate from your Frigidaire.
When I was staying in the Netherlands and the UK, all of my hosts left their butter out. Of course, I lived in Texas at the time and wasn't willing to let my butter melt all over the hot apartment. But if you're in a moderate climate and enjoy butter on your morning slice of toast -- just leave it out.
You see the Heinz packets in piles at fast food joints, so why do you put yours in the fridge? There's no need, unless you prefer your ketchup cold.
After too many ruined batches of basil in the fridge, I put my foot down on storing it in the cold. While some herbs do fare better in a cool place (like cilantro), basil and parsley should stay out of the chill.
This may sound disgusting, but mayo isn't a dairy product, so it doesn't need to be treated like one. Of course, some people may not like room temperature mayonnaise after they're used to eating it cold -- so decide for yourself.
Even the natural kind doesn't need to be refrigerated -- even if you like the oil to get all firm. It's not going to go bad in your cabinet and will spread a heck of a lot easier.
While anything fish might make you nervous, fish sauce does not require refrigeration to maintain its lovely, fishy smell (and taste). Also -- soy sauce, no refrigeration necessary.
It's called a "preserve" for a reason. Anything that's been pickled or sealed in a jar was meant to stay in a pantry and last through winter -- before the invention of electricity.
Do you have any foods you leave out, much to the annoyance of your household?
Image via karindaziel/Flickr