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Old 13-07-2008, 15:40   #16
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Different kinds of produce need to be kept differently, and much of what you get at ordinary markets is already past it's prime. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and some university web sites should have extensive information about how to best keep each type of food fresh--this was considered a public service (preventing food poisoning and waste) before refrigeration become common, and most the older cookbooks (many from before WW1 are still in publication or available used!) also go into details on how to keep produce and all sorts of food from spoiling.

And at a certain point...canned (what you would call "tinned" ? ) things just make good sense.
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Old 15-07-2008, 04:15   #17
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Hmm, is there a chance of getting maybe a bigger fridge to store more fruits and vegetables in it?
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Old 15-07-2008, 04:35   #18
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For your lettuces, recut the stem end and keep it in a bit of water in a rolled down bag sort of standing up, like a bouquet, outside the fridge. Try to buy it uncooled. If it has been in a fridge, it will wilt much faster. Keep your fresh herbs wrapped in paper towels and in a bag in the fridge. They will last a few weeks this way.
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Old 15-07-2008, 05:34   #19
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Those green bags work
Friends that spent 7 years in Venezuela agree too. The bags indicate that they can not be reused. They can if you rinse them in fresh water and dry them out. It will stretch the usefulness of them some. The bags help keep out critters in the air yet allow the contents to breath. In the fridge you need to rotate the contents out and reclean them. With that you can double the shelf life or better on most things.

The common element from above is airtight containers shorten shelf life of most all organic unless it has had it's proptective peal removed and then the shelf life drops exceptionally fast. It would be nice if we all had a root cellar on the boat that was cool and dry.

There is a lot of other good tips around such as never store onions with potatoes (that works on land too). Neither require refrigeration but together the potatoes go bad quickly.
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Old 15-07-2008, 07:56   #20
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Welcome Svbillabong!

I think it was Practical Sailor who did a test on the Evergreen bags vs standard ziploc and found no difference except for bananas and one other (can't remember, maybe carrots?). Remember "pyramid power"? You were supposed to be able to keep lettuce fresh and your razorblades sharp by sticking them under a cardboard pyramid. I miss the '70s.

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Old 15-07-2008, 09:11   #21
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Grow your herbs on the boat. It is easy.

Develop a love affair with cabbage.

Turn your eggs daily.

On passages, resign yourself to processed stuff after the first 10 to 14 days.

Catch fish.

Buy unripen fruits and veggies.
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Old 01-08-2008, 16:06   #22
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Storing and Extending Life of Perishables

A few basics on storage of veggies and fruits:

(1) When buying veggies that you want to last for a few weeks aboard, give them a closer inspection than normal. Look for soft or bruised spots, or surfaces that have been slit or penetrated. Cook the bruised veggies first. And inspect your fruit and veggie EVERY DAY. Rearrange them so they are not bearing against each other on the same surface day in and day out. Immediately separate and set aside any pieces showing decay and put them on the day's menu.

(2) Before bringing fresh veggies aboard, plunge them in a mixture of bleach (Clorox) and water for a few minutes, then dry in the sun. This will kill surface bacteria which is the greatest source of rotting. This will also eliminate spiders and other buggy creatures that you don't want down below.

(3) Don't store/mix veggies and fruits together. They each exude gases and chemicals that promote rot. Never mix onions and potatoes together. Store in well-ventilated, plastic boxes out of sunlight and unnecessary heat.

(4) To have fresh-tasting, crisp veggies for longer periods of time, sterilize glass jars, stuff with the veggie, then cover with a mixture of 1 part white distilled vinegar (5% acid as the Heinz brand), and 2 parts water. Heat vinegar and water to low boil, then allow to cool and pour over veggies. Allow head space so veggies don't touch inside of screw-on top. Prepared this way, the veggies will keep for several months.

(5) If you've chosen your veggies with care, you can expect the following storage life:

3-days: Brussels Sprouts, Celery, Iceberg Lettuce

7-10 days: Asparagus, Broccoli, Bell peppers, Cauliflower, Corn, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Green Peas, Summer Squash, Tomatoes/Tomatillos

2 weeks+: Avocados, Carrots, Chayote, Eggplant, Bermuda and Spanis onions, Plantains, Radishes, Turnips

4-6 weeks: Cabbage, Ginger, Jicama, Potatoes, Winter Squash, Yams and Sweet Potatoes

Fresh Fruit Storage Life:

5-7 days: Apricots, Berries, Cantaloupe, Honey Dew melons, peaches, watermelon

2-3 weeks: Apples, Avocados, Bananas, Grapes, Mangoes, Pears, Pineapples, Pomegranates

3-5 weeks: Oranges, Grapefruits, Lemons, Limes


Hope this helps.

Fair winds and fine dining,

Robbie
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:38   #23
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We learned an interesting fact from a local on Dominica. He told us never to store citrus fruits near any other produce, because the citrus will stop the other from ripening. Local produce vendors on other islands confirmed this wisdom.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:11   #24
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Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit, are often refrigerated to preserve quality. Citrus fruits do not ripen further after harvest. Because citrus odor is absorbed by meat, eggs, and dairy products, these should not be stored together.

If a piece of produce has been stored long enough to absorb odors, you can use it in a soup, stew, or casserole ,where flavors and aromas will intermingle.

Some fruits and vegetables should not be chilled at all, while other types of produce can be refrigerated with a few easy precautions.

Anything that ripens after it's harvested shouldn't be put in the refrigerator, including: tomatoes*, unripe pears, and all melons except watermelon. Chilling temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit retard ripening.

* A tomato will lose its aroma and flavor after just 40 minutes in the refrigerator. Store tomatoes so none are touching, especially if the produce has cracks or lesions.

Tropical fruit, including bananas, mangos, and papayas, should never be refrigerated. Chill bananas only if you want them to turn brown for cooking, or if you're freezing them for a special dessert.
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:37   #25
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We learned an interesting fact from a local on Dominica. He told us never to store citrus fruits near any other produce, because the citrus will stop the other from ripening. Local produce vendors on other islands confirmed this wisdom.
That's an easy one to verify: Just buy a half-dozen mangoes or papaya and lay them on top of potatoes and watch what happens.

Nothing quite like scientific direct observation to separate fact from native "wisdom."

Fair winds to you,

Robbie
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:32   #26
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* A tomato will lose its aroma and flavor after just 40 minutes in the refrigerator. Store tomatoes so none are touching, especially if the produce has cracks or lesions.

Tropical fruit, including bananas, mangos, and papayas, should never be refrigerated. Chill bananas only if you want them to turn brown for cooking, or if you're freezing them for a special dessert.
Ahoy, Gord!

As a relatively new member of Cruisers Forum, I acknowledge your awesome contribution of more than 8,000 postings, but I am at a loss to understand your recent galley-related comments, and as an accomplished sea-going chef, I can only wonder at your recent submission, a portion of which I have quoted above.

Your comment about tomatoes losing their "odor" and flavor within 40 minutes, for instance. Where oh where did you obtain that gem of wisdom? I would appreciate your providing me with the culinary resource for that statement. In fact, most tomatoes have only a modest aroma to begin with, "aroma," by the way, is the accepted term for the smell of an ingredient, not "odor."

And tomatoes definitely do NOT lose their flavor within 40 minutes of refrigeration. I believe a quick canvassing of chefs anywhere will quickly dispel that notion. I have a half-dozen plum tomatoes in my shore side refrigerator right now that have been there for 5 days, and I used some this morning in a Spanish omelet to good effect. Tomatoes, however, WILL absorb the aromas of other vegetables if stored closely to them long enough, like onions or scallions for instance. But onions should not be refrigerated anyway. They are best preserved by keeping them in a dry place, out of the sun, with good ventilation.

Gord, you say that tropical fruits should NEVER be refrigerated, but that is simply NOT correct. I have 3 Costa Rican mangoes in my shore side refrigerator at the moment that have been there for at least a week as well as 4 bananas that I bought a couple of days ago. I make a tropical fruit smoothie almost every day for lunch. I use the temperature coolness of the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process. And speaking as a chef, I know of no recipe that calls for purposely darkening bananas for inclusion in a recipe. If you're going to extend the life of bananas for a few days using your freezer, it's more efficient to remove the skin first. As you know, the skin may turn brown/black, but the banana's flesh will still be light in color.

The refrigeration in no way harms or alters the quality of the taste of the fruit. But in practical terms, when a sailor is voyaging or hanging out in the tropics, the abundance of fresh fruit is such that there is really no need to refrigerate it. You simply buy today's fruit today.

I bow to your multi-faceted expertise in the many other areas of sailing, Gord, but in this instance, I am obliged to disagree with your culinary comments.
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:10   #27
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Anything that ripens after it's harvested shouldn't be put in the refrigerator, including: tomatoes*, unripe pears, and all melons except watermelon. Chilling temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit retard ripening.

Here is what I get (don't get).

An item is picked and as time goes on it ripens (or ripens more) to the point where it is past ripe and begins to decay - the beginning of rotting to me. Rotten is when it is thrown out and not used.

If refrigeration retards ripening then does it not retard decay (rotting)?

If I buy a piece of fruit and store it "properly" and another to place in the refrigerator, which will last longer? Will one be poor taste-wise compared to the other?

Are we modern folk just "sheeped" into thinking we need these nice fridges?
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:51   #28
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Are we modern folk just "sheeped" into thinking we need these nice fridges?
Nothing really to offer to this discussion... except I howled at "sheeped." Excellent verb! Can I borrow that?

I have noticed that vegetables and fruit that have been refrigerated do not last once returned to room temperature. Though a lot of my home grown stuff doesn't last near as long as grocery store grub... 3 days out of my blackberries, a week from the grocery stores.
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