82 votes
Accepted

How did people transport food before aluminium foil was invented?

A complete answer to this question would require writing a primer on the history of food preservation and transport. I'm not going to write one. Instead, I'll focus on the most common methods of ...
FuzzyChef's user avatar
  • 64.3k
44 votes

How did people transport food before aluminium foil was invented?

In addition of FuzzyChef's answer: Some cheaper (?) but less durable (in terms of re-using) food packaging mostly without cheating by curing: Wrapping In south-east Asia and central America even ...
Ching Chong's user avatar
  • 4,678
39 votes

Why store food in an airtight container when it's in the fridge?

Airtight packaging doesn't slow down bacteria growth. There are a few myths about them which don't apply in practice: Bacteria are not kept out, despite popular belief – the air within the container ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
38 votes
Accepted

What would cause the peel of a lime to turn yellow?

Ethylene, most likely. You've said that that lime was at the bottom of the bowl, mostly covered with other fruit. I'll bet it was very close to some kiwis. Fruit -- particularly "climacteric"...
Sneftel's user avatar
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32 votes

Can you store frozen dinners in the refrigerator for up to a week before eating them?

I wouldn't recommend it for a couple of reasons: Food in general degrades much faster in the fridge than in the freezer, so you risk spoilage during that time. Most prepared foods are not ...
Joe's user avatar
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27 votes
Accepted

Is it safe to store dry food products under the sink?

Your concerns would be moisture, insects and/or rodents. Simply put your products in airtight containers. You'll be just fine. (By the way, my mom always stored onions and potatoes under the sink).
moscafj's user avatar
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25 votes
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What is the best practice storage method for flour to avoid bugs?

Based on my personal experience of living in a 100-year-old apartment building, where both pantry moths and flour beetles were basically chronic: The freezer will prevent bugs more effectively than ...
FuzzyChef's user avatar
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21 votes

How is pasteurization different from sterilization?

Although yes, pasteurization is not as complete as sterilization, there's one subtle difference that's not been mentioned in the other answers: pasteurization is always a heat treatment done to ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 80.7k
21 votes
Accepted

How do I store ready-to-eat salad better?

I agree that it's very likely the fridge. Beside it swinging too wildly, there can be another problem though: too cold. I've seen people, especially Americans, turning fridges down as cold as they ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
20 votes
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How is pasteurization different from sterilization?

Basically, pasteurization is a process that kills most bacteria. Sous vide is a method that you can use to pasteurize food (eggs for example) which will kill most, but not all, bacteria. Sterilization ...
myklbykl's user avatar
  • 5,084
19 votes

How can I keep large packs of ham fresh longer?

The only sensible way is put them into the freezer: Shortly after purchase, package it into lots that are suitable for eating within a couple of days of thawing. Place packets into a freezer and thaw ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 15k
18 votes

What container for olive oil for longest shelf life?

From my research on this, it sounds like you should be minimising the following as much as possible (two of which you've mentioned in your question): Exposure to light Exposure to heat Oxidisation ...
mfox's user avatar
  • 774
16 votes

How did people transport food before aluminium foil was invented?

Non-preserved food in aluminium foil is gonna spoil almost the same as if you didn't put it in foil ... If you just want to keep the food clean, you can just use any kind of food safe container that ...
rackandboneman's user avatar
16 votes

Soda water first stored in refrigerator and then at room temperature

If it's unopened it will stay perfectly fine, cold or warm, until the Best Before date printed on it. It doesn't need refrigerating until opened - unless, of course, you want to drink it cold ;)
Tetsujin's user avatar
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15 votes
Accepted

Why does the instant coffee that I store in little plastic tubs go bad?

In a word, humidity. Instant coffee absorbs moisture from air rather well. I suspect that your container isn't perfectly airtight, and it's in a humid place. It's possible that the container is ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 44.1k
15 votes

What container for olive oil for longest shelf life?

Get a darkened glass bottle - can be dark green or amber-colored. Amber-colored filters out better than green, it is easier to recycle and produce (therefore, cheaper), that's why we very regularly ...
Juliana Karasawa Souza's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Is there a specific name for the mise en place containers used in professional kitchens?

Around here, they're called 'deli containers'. Those are specifically the heavier weight ones that can deal with hot foods. I don't see delis using them much anymore (they've switched to thinner, ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 80.7k
14 votes

Why did a jar of vinegar destroy this metal lid and turn it black (see pic)?

Vinegar is an acid and acids are not stored in metal, it eats them. Some are less reactive, like stainless steel, but still not a good idea. Normally plastic is fine, that is what vinegar is often ...
dlb's user avatar
  • 8,623
14 votes

Why store food in an airtight container when it's in the fridge?

In addition to keeping odors contained and limiting the possibility of cross-contamination, oxygen degrades the quality of food. Oxygen also supports aerobic spoilage organisms. So, limiting air ...
moscafj's user avatar
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13 votes
Accepted

What is the best way to carry milk to work?

The key thing is that you empty and wash the container regularly (ideally daily, but at least every few days). If there is a bad smell that is a sign that something is wrong; most likely some milk ...
dbmag9's user avatar
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13 votes
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Potency of stored baking powder: Does it decrease with time or exposure to air or both?

It's mostly due to moisture absorption from the air. Basically, baking powder is a mixture of a base - baking soda (sodium bicarbonate or similar) and a weak acid, usually tartaric acid (potassium ...
bob1's user avatar
  • 15k
11 votes

Mousse de Canard, Mousse de Foie, Terrine de Campagne, expired by around 10 days

I'm sorry to say that your three packages are no longer safe for consumption. Expiry dates are usually pretty conservative and food may still be good several days past them, but the concerning factor ...
Kareen's user avatar
  • 722
11 votes

How do I maintain the crunchy crust of home baked bread?

The reason the crust is going soft is a combination of factors: Moisture from inside the bread transfers to the outside during cooling: This is most prevalent in breads with thinner developed crusts. ...
kettultim's user avatar
  • 496
11 votes
Accepted

Do spice containers need to be hermetic?

Based on my understanding of physics I would say: Opaque over airtight. Things you don't want in a spice container are: convection. An open container is essentially an invitation for the spices to ...
Kempeth's user avatar
  • 326
11 votes
Accepted

Freeze or refrigerate bread?

Methods, from best to worst (assuming the bread is in a sealed plastic bag): Freezing Room temperature Refrigerating According to the FAQs for Dave's Killer Bread, which does not use preservatives: ...
Geremia's user avatar
  • 1,072
11 votes

What is meant by freezer?

The terms freezer and deep freeze are synonymous. There is no such term as "deep fridge" in British or US English, though apparently there is in Indian English… where if you search what you ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 29.7k
10 votes
Accepted

Why did a jar of vinegar destroy this metal lid and turn it black (see pic)?

The used lid had already somewhat degraded when you put vinegar on the jar. These coated self-sealing lids are used in bottling salsa - obviously :) - jams, pickles, condiments, etc all which vary ...
Jude's user avatar
  • 3,953
10 votes

Why are the corks of some of my Muscat wines popping out?

This is generally an indication that the wine is not stable - that is, it is still fermenting, which is a defect in wines not intended to be sparkling (carbonated) wines. If you made the wine, and ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 17.6k
10 votes

When left out in an open container, what % abv does vodka retain at room temperature?

As a chemist I'd say that the question is really impossible to answer as given. The gist is that for a water/ethanol mixture both components will evaporate. So if the liquid is left out long enough, ...
MaxW's user avatar
  • 2,649
10 votes

Soda water first stored in refrigerator and then at room temperature

The CO2 would have to actually leave the bottle for the drink to go flat, and that's no more likely than when you store it at constant temperature. I often do this anyway as I'm short of fridge space ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 44.1k

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