Great news, people! A doctor has finally weighed in on the one question that bamboozles both tomato sauce fans and Hinge users who have that “let’s debate this topic” prompt in their profile: should the delicious red condiment live in the fridge or the pantry?
Dr Zac Turner settled the debate in his weekly News.com.au column, which is called Ask Doctor Zac. It’s really a “does what it says on the tin” sort of name, when you think about it.
Someone from Perth named Jo asked Dr Turner whether tomato sauce and a few other condiments should be stored in the fridge or pantry, because their “ignorant boyfriend” likes keeping them in the latter.
Jo even went as far to say their boyfriend “cries like a baby” because “cold Vegemite makes his toast cold” and honestly, I both detest this man yet relate to him. In one way he must simply get a grip but also, toast loses its warmth extremely quickly, thus myriad preventative measures must be enacted to ensure heat is trapped in the bread.
In saying this, any man who cries about the fact a breakfast spread makes their toast cold is, quite frankly, a chump.
But alas, I digress. Dr Turner answered Jo’s question with aplomb, and also a distinct sense of sassiness.
“The fridge or pantry debate has certainly divided and broken households across Australia for decades,” he said.
“There are two ways to look at this debate: one way is to be a reasonable human being and accept that we all have preferences and that’s just ok. The other way is to be like most people and take a shallow attitude and demand to know which way is correct.”
Dr Turner is taking no prisoners. I would honestly move to Middle America, adopt a Nordic name and join an Amish community if a doctor ever implied I was taking “a shallow attitude” by asking a common question about food storage in an advice column.
After he got off his high horse, Dr Turner spilled the tea we’ve all been waiting for.
“Tomato sauce and other similar condiments, such as BBQ sauce and mustard, do not need to be refrigerated due to its high acidity and processing,” he said.
“Even after it’s been opened, it remains microbially stable for quite some time, which means little bacteria grows in it.”
He also essentially told Jo they could have figured all this out themselves if they’d read the food label.
“Can I just say that you can find out all this information by reading the labels of your food; it is here that you will find storage directions,” he said.
“It’s always best to follow what your food label says.”