Ina Garten—Food Network Queen, inventor of comedy, my other mom—has left me shook.
Ina is someone we can always rely on to create classic recipes with a special, high quality touch without too much fuss. I still believe all of this to be true (I swear by her potato salad recipe). But a recent deep dive into her pantry courtesy of Bon Appetit has left me with a few questions and concerns.
“The Secrets of Ina Garten’s Pantry,” explores Ina’s definition of good olive oil, the best salts, her favorite maple syrup, and more. That’s all well and good. But I want to know why Ina puts so many of her opened condiments in the pantry when they probably maybe belong in the fridge! At least, according to their labels.
First up, the Grey Poupon. I don’t know about you, but I put my dijon mustard in the fridge! Grey Poupon agrees, apparently, and suggests that one refrigerates to preserve flavor.
Next on the docket is this bottle of capers. Maybe it’s unopened! But if not...Ina! What?! I figured all pickled items should be put in the fridge after opening so that they don’t spoil! I’m no food scientist, it just seems like a good idea.
And this syrup. This is that good shit, no Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Buttersworth here. But shouldn’t the good shit be in the fridge?! I did a little research on Ina’s beloved Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Syrup, and it turns out the label says “refrigerate after opening.”
Look, maybe Ina is on to something. We’ve all left a condiment that is supposed to be refrigerated after opening out by mistake, and we didn’t throw it out. We still ate it and lived to tell the tale. Perhaps the refrigeration of common everyday condiments should be seen as guidelines moreso than hard and fast rules. Perhaps Ina is a culinary rebel who plays by her own fucking rules and we don’t give her enough credit for it.
Or perhaps she just doesn’t like cold syrup on her French toast. I don’t fucking know.