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I have friends who stick ALL their produce in the fridge. What is the proper way to store summer fruits and vegetables like fresh tomatoes, berries, and watermelon?

asked by mrslarkin about 6 years ago
6 answers 1574 views
0c2c08a9 1e7e 4449 89c1 758d62f1e797  amdrink
added about 6 years ago

I agree with Antonia on the tomatoes. For other produce, my CSA-farm suggested storing things in the fridge in large ziplock bags. I find that leafy greens, carrots, cherries, and other farm-fresh produce from the CSA (which generally goes bad so much quicker) lasts several days longer in a ziplock!

Bc343245 99fb 4d2b 8579 9bf9c485181e  me
added about 6 years ago

I agree with Antonia James and Loves Food Loves to Eat comments. Adding to foods I don't refrigerate are potatoes as the cold will turn the starch to sugar, thus affecting the flavor. Tomatillos, the green tomatoes in a husk, are in the tomato family and shouldn't be refrigerated for the best flavor if you're going to use them fairly quickly. If not, you can remove the husks and place in a plastic bag unsealed and they'll keep for as long as 3-4 weeks. They'll only last up to 2 weeks in the frig with the husk on. A local strawberry grower told me the best way to store berries is in the refrigerator in a single layer (assuming you have the space to do that). Berries don't continue to ripen after they're picked, they just get soft. So the bottom berries are going to get mushed, inviting decay faster. And lastly for my leafy greens, I wash them when I bring them home (or pick them from the garden) and put the leaves in an unsealed plastic bag with very damp paper towels. This keeps them nice and crisp for muuuuuch longer.

709cce19 92e3 4953 a02d d8e0d2c39c16  bestface
added about 6 years ago

Damp paper towels keep produce longer, refreshing them instead of drying them out.

With herbs, also wrap in a damp paper towel.

Also, make sure your produce is dry. There is nothing worse than having lettuce heads/herbs sitting in a lake of water. Summer items like tomatoes need to breathe, and should have very little water contact until needed. Store in a cool dry place, with some spacing in between. If you have a rack, like a sheet pan with parchment paper and lay tomatoes on them. If you detect a bad one, separate from others. This can be with peaches, plums, nectarines, avocadoes, cherry tomatoes. It is also quite visually appealing.

95faff30 cc53 4c8e 8c8d 9b770dc26f9e  dscf2141
added almost 6 years ago

Tomatoes are best stored upsidedown as the blossom side is where there is the most moisture loss. Definitely not in the fridge for tomatoes. For many other things the trade off in shelf life vs. quality is not that extreme.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 6 years ago

ImmaEatThat is right. I will add that I wash my herbs and then chop them up and add it to something I am cooking. Then, I do the paper towel business.

All recommendations above are good.

I will add that you may ripen many fruits and vegetables in a paper bag. Be careful. Some ripen quick, like peaches, which is handy. Also, a window sill is a blessing.