Did you grow up in a household where your mum used to keep bananas in the fridge door shelf? And generally, everything was better off in the fridge than sitting on the kitchen counter?
As it turns out, there are some food and non-food items that definitely should not go in the fridge, even though most of us like to store them there and keep them cold.
Spreads like jam and honey or condiments like ketchup and mustard don’t belong in the fridge. First of all, ketchup contains enough sugar to essentially preserve itself, even when it’s really hot outside. Secondly, neither mustard nor ketchup will be easy to get out of their bottle when they’ve been stored in the fridge.
Honey will crystalize when it’s kept in cold conditions. This makes the honey not only go hard but also cloudy which some folks (especially kids) have a problem with as it can look like the honey has gone off. Better to keep honey in the pantry, preferably in a dark spot and with a lid that closes properly as to not attract ants.
Another non-fridge item is bread. Contrary to popular belief, bread should not be kept in the cold. Better keep it in a bread box or in a bread bag to keep it moist and fluffy. The cold air inside refrigerators causes the starch molecules inside the bread to re-crystallize, making the bread go hard and stale faster. A common loaf of bread can be kept on the kitchen counter for around a week. If you buy your bread in bulk, freeze some of it in an airtight container for later.
Freezing in airtight containers is also an excellent option for coffee. The cold inside a fridge can affect the coffee’s taste when it’s brewed, so it’s best to keep an amount for a few weeks in a cupboard and the rest in the freezer.
Softer fruits like bananas or avocados are best kept out of the fridge until they have ripened to your liking. Once you refrigerate them, the ripening process stops and that might cause the fruits to taste bitter and wooden. If you leave them out of the fridge for too long though, they might turn over ripe and perish.
It’s not exactly certain where the belief comes from that putting your batteries in the fridge increases their performance. The opposite is the case – batteries have a shorter life when you put them in a fridge because the condensation causes them to corrode faster than they normally would.