Bite sized wisdom: hacks for taste & freshness

Dear Friends,

Have you ever found that sometimes food doesn’t taste as fresh even though you just bought it?

The trick to fixing this is by learning the likes of each fruit and veggie. Instead of throwing everything into the fridge after a grocery run take time to separate items that shouldn’t be put together (such as potatoes and onions), and don’t refrigerate items that enjoy being in room temperature.

Below you’ll find three tips that will give you an immediate taste difference with recently bought tomatoes, cheese and bananas. (There are many more items, but to those we’ll get to in our later posts.)

1. Let the cheese sit after being refrigerated 

cheese.freshness.tips.food.cooking.sustainable.last.saynotofoodwaste.2Since cheese is made mostly of fat you want to make sure its molecules have time to warm up after being pulled out of the fridge. In the cold the fat molecules contract, hiding with it delicious texture and taste. It’s recommended to take out cheese 1.5 hours before eating it (even 45 or 30 minutes is better than none). Softer cheese such as brie should sit out for even longer. Fresh cheese can be an exception and can be eaten faster, but be sure to keep all the cheese in their packaging before opening them to eat.

2. Don’t chill your tomatoes 

tomato.freshness.tips.food.cooking.sustainable.last.saynotofoodwaste.3Tomatoes like to be in room temperature, and since ‘room temperature‘ varies greatly the approximate degree ranges between 60-70F. These temperatures may vary in the summer time, but the general idea is that the linoleic acid in tomatoes turns into a Z-3 hexenel compound and gives the tomato fruit its taste. Cold weather impedes this process leading to a loss of flavor.  Our tip: be realistic about your situation. If you plan to eat your tomatoes in a day or two after purchasing it’s best to keep them in at room temperature. However, if you won’t get to them for couple of days, put them in the fridge so that they don’t ripen too quickly and begin to rot.

3. Wrap plastic over your banana

bananas.freshness.tips.food.cooking.sustainable.last.saynotofoodwaste.5Bananas are delicious! They are filled with potassium, are a perfect ingredient on top of a peanut butter sandwich, a morning smoothie and can even be eaten for dessert when mixed in with greek yogurt. When you buy them though, you usually buy a bunch of bananas, which can go bad quickly in warm temperature. A good way to prevent them from browning is by wrapping some plastic around the ‘crown’ of these yellow goods. This technique can give you an extra 3-4 days of freshness, not bad for all the bucks you spend at the grocery store.

All these tips are new to me and I’m excited to share them with you. Are there other tips you guys are aware of that we should post on the website? If so, drop a line and share your knowledge!

Happy Friday guys!

-Hokuma

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