Which condiments, syrups, and sauces do you really need to keep in the refrigerator? Your bottle of ketchup says “refrigerate after opening,” but diners leave ketchup on their tables all day long. Americans keep mustard in the refrigerator, while Europeans do not. The rule of thumb is that the spicier a condiment is, the less it needs refrigeration, but ingredients vary even within those classifications. Sometimes the instruction to refrigerate is a matter of safety, while for other items, it’s a matter of quality control. And there are some items you haven’t thought about. We know honey stays safe in the cabinet, but what about maple syrup?
As the website of Ben’s Maple Syrup in New England points out, while the sugar in the syrup means that it doesn’t really need to be refrigerated, “refrigerating maple syrup will retard the growth of mold. If a container of unrefrigerated maple syrup is not checked often, enough mold may grow in the syrup, to ruin the flavor of the syrup.” Ben’s then advises just scraping the mold off the top of the syrup. Or, if that grosses you out, just leave the bottle in the fridge.
That’s for pure maple syrup. What about the Aunt Jemima stuff? “That doesn’t count; that’s just corn syrup,” Dresser scoffs. Okay, Marie Kondo-ing that bottle as well.
I dunno, I once had a bottle of corn syrup go moldy in the cabinet because I only use it at Christmas. Still, the American habit of putting condiments in the refrigerator may have something to do with available space, since our refrigerators are bigger than those in the rest of the world. The Takeout has a rundown of which condiments really should be refrigerated and which ones you can leave out on the counter or the table, which might encourage you to use them more often. -via Digg
(Image credit: Dvortygirl)