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83 votes
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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 ...
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45 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 ...
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  • 4,590
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 ...
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37 votes
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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 fruit like kiwi which ...
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  • 21.5k
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 ...
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27 votes
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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).
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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 ...
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24 votes
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Why don't they sell frozen tomatoes like other frozen vegetables and fruits?

Freeze one, thaw it and see. The liquid separates out and leaves a pulpy structure behind. Tomato sauce (no chunks) thaws much better and separated liquid can be stirred back in well enough. Canned ...
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24 votes
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How to keep dust and cat hair off cast iron pans?

First off, cleaning isn't necessarily bad for seasoning. "Soap removes seasoning" is largely a myth; Serious Eats discusses this at length. The seasoning is actually a polymer chemically bonded to ...
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21 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 ...
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  • 4,599
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 ...
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  • 75.6k
19 votes

Does keeping a fridge/freezer full significantly help energy efficiency?

SUMMARY: Unless I'm missing something here or you're doing very odd things with your refrigerator, you'd at most save a couple dollars per year by keeping your fridge/freezer full. Moreover, stocking ...
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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 ...
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17 votes
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Can I store dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, etc) together?

As long as they're all dry ingredients, then you should be just fine — after all, that's exactly what a box of packaged cake mix is. Again, if it's just dry ingredients, I see no need to refrigerate ...
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  • 2,709
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 ...
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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 ;)
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  • 24.4k
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 ...
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14 votes
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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, ...
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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 ...
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  • 8,585
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 ...
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12 votes
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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 ...
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  • 336
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 ...
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  • 712
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. ...
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  • 496
11 votes
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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: ...
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  • 1,034
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 ...
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11 votes
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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 perfect airtight, and it's in a humid place. It's possible that the container is ...
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10 votes
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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 ...
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  • 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 ...
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  • 11.1k
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 ...
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  • 39k
10 votes
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Stem on tomatoes

It's supposed to be proof that the tomatoes were "vine ripened", instead of being picked green, but the definition is such that there only has to be some sign of color change when they're ...
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