If you're the kind of person who can never remember where's the best place to store fruits and vegetables to keep them as fresh as possible, you're not alone. It can be confusing to keep track of which fruits and vegetables you should refrigerate and which you can just leave in a bowl on your counter or in your pantry. And the stakes are high, since making a mistake about where to store produce can be the difference between eating and enjoying fresh fruit all week and being forced to throw out half your groceries before you can use them. Fortunately, there's one simple trick to remember where to store produce, and it all has to do with where your produce grows.
After all, that banana on your counter didn't just appear in your grocery store. It grew somewhere, and so, if you want to store it properly, think about where it comes from. Tropical fruits, like bananas or mangos, should be stored at higher temperatures, like on your counter, since it grew in a hot place. Fruits from more temperate climates, like apples and berries, are best stored in the fridge, at lower temperatures.
In short, store your produce in a place similar to the climate in which it grows—and making that connection between the real world and your groceries will help extend their lives and keep them fresher for longer.
That's part of the reason I love this trick. Yes, it's super simple, but it also makes you think about where your food grows. Many chefs I've met swear by the adage, "If it grows together, it goes together." That means that different types of produce that grow in the same season or in similar climate tends to taste good when paired together. You could argue this is one of the reasons that coffee and chocolate go well with each other; they're both grown in tropical climates, so of course they taste good in combination. Well, it's the same basic principle with this life hack to remember which fruits and vegetables need to go in the fridge and which can stay on the counter.