During lockdown my boyfriend and I decided we would cohabitate and support one another after a paltry year dating. We negotiated who would manage dishes and laundry, how we would spend time together and apart. Everything has been steady and going well until this week when he did the unthinkable; he placed a fresh, first of the season nectarine in the refrigerator. After much debate that followed, I realized that many of you poor souls out there are committing the ultimate disaster of placing your fresh Farmer’s Market produce into a vessel that has the potential to do irreparable damage! Alas, a list of summer fruits and vegetables that should not go into the refrigerator:
They are almost here. I’m guessing next week we will see local tomatoes hit the market. Place your tomatoes on the counter, in sunlight if you have it, so that these beauties can ripen to absolute perfection. Refrigerated tomatoes have mealy flesh and unpleasant texture. Period.
Honestly, it can go in there, but let me give you something to think about. I’m going to say, without doing any research on the topic at all, that cold food tastes different than room temperature food. The best way I know how to illustrate this is ice cream. Taste ice cream when it is super cold. Now, taste the same ice cream after it is melted. You will get a full range of its full sweetness and complexity when melted. There is science behind this, but I’m just telling you to trust me. Want your corn to taste sweet? Don’t make it cold.
These bulbs benefit from being kept in a cool, dry, dark place. And make sure to avoid wrapping them in plastic bags. Your shallots, onions, and garlic want to breathe! If you are buying the pre-peeled, pre-chopped garlic, please email me so that we can set up an appointment.
I know, I know, they will ripen quickly and mold quickly. Who cares? The texture and the taste are vastly improved at room temperature. Berries do not ripen at all after they have been picked, so purchase the ripest you can find, enjoy them quickly and do not rinse or clean until right before you plan to eat. If you don’t think you can get to them in time, better to put them in an airtight bag and put them in the freezer than to put them in the fridge – where damp conditions will lend to even damper berries.
Cold, mealy fruit? Gross. Juice-dripping-down-your-chin bite without muted flavor? Exactly. Leave them out on the counter.
Once you pick a pineapple, it doesn’t get any riper, so you should try to buy a perfectly ripe pineapple with the intention of eating it sooner rather than later. That also means that you should just leave it at room temperature—keeping it in the fridge isn’t going to have an effect on its ripeness.
Like corn, you can put melons in the refrigerator if you enjoy cold melon. But I find on the counter, with flesh that is as soft as possible, the sweet is just that much sweeter. Changing the temperature of the melon will tense up the interior, possibly making it a tad less succulent.
If you wander down Del Ray’s, “The Avenue,” you won’t miss the farm-red building with a rustic fence bordering the patio. Stomping Ground opened two years ago and quickly became popular for its made-from-scratch biscuits and its neighborhood vibe. On weekends, excited guests line up before Stomping Ground opens hoping to be the first to get a just-out-of-the-oven biscuit or a fresh salad. Stomping Ground is mostly known for its fast casual breakfast and lunch but on Thursdays and Fridays they provide a full dinner service after 5:00pm. All meals are built from local, seasonal food that is organic whenever possible.
2309 Mt Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301