Kitchen Myths

Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken

Category Archives: Ingredients

You should not store coffee in the freezer

Oh pish-tush! For medium to long-term storage (more than a couple of weeks) this in fact the best place to store coffee. Coffee goes stale mainly because the oils in the coffee (I am talking roasted coffee, whole beans or ground) react with oxygen in the air and go rancid, giving the coffee a stale taste. One way to prevent this is to seal the coffee away from air—this is why coffee in cans and some bags is vacuum packed. The second way is with cold, which slows down chemical reactions. Cold, freezer, duh!

The reason I have heard for not storing coffee in the freezer is that it can absorb odors from the other food. Well, I dunno about you, but I wrap things tightly before they go in the freezer. Even if my leftover garlic and limburger tart comes unsealed, the coffee will be in a jar or zip-loc bag.

There is one situation when freezer storage may not be a good idea, and that when the weather is very humid and your kitchen is not air conditioned. Because moisture condenses on cold surfaces, there’s the risk of the coffee becoming moist when you take it out of the freezer to use. This would likely affect the coffee.

When sautéing in olive oil, use extra virgin oil for the best flavor

We all know that extra virgin olive oil has the best flavor. But, it turns out that these flavors pretty much all vanish when the oil is heated to sautéing temperatures. If you still want to use olive oil, for the health benefits perhaps, save your money and use a cheaper refined oil, saving the extra virgin for salads, dipping bread, and other non-heated uses. If you want that lovely olive oil flavor on cooked foods, drizzle a bit of the good stuff on after cooking.

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