Many foods must be consumed within a few days or months, but there are other foods that never expire, or almost. There are some foods that can last for many years, if properly preserved. Here are to you!
Diets and Nutrition
There are some foods that expire quite soon, therefore they need to be consumed within a few days, such as yogurt, milk, fresh cheeses etc.., but there are other foods that never expire, or almost: just preserving them properly make them last long. We are talking about foods like rice, salt, sugar, dark chocolate and more: it will be sufficient, in most cases, to store these foods in dry places and that are not exposed to heat or direct sunlight. Therefore these foods, if well preserved, keep their properties almost intact without causing damage to our health.
All foods for sale must state by default their expiration date, but however in some cases these dates may be also extended, and for some foods it would not even be necessary. Over time, the organoleptic and hygienic qualities of foods such as chocolate or honey, for example, are not altered. For this reason, they can be consumed even after months and, in some cases, also years. Here are all the foods that never expire (or almost) and that we can keep in the pantry in large quantities without the fear of having to throw them away in the dustbin.
1. Dark chocolate: it can be preserved for more than 2 years thanks to the "tempering"
Dark chocolate can be preserved in perfect condition for more than 2 years. The white patina that forms on its surface after a while, and that looks like a mold, is not actually bad for your health. The qualities that allow dark chocolate to “live” long, much longer than milk, are due to "tempering", that is the processing that allows the formation of cocoa butter crystals structured in such a way as to give crispness to chocolate at the time of the bite, followed by melting, once in the mouth. Above 20 ° the structure of some crystals can change allowing the formation of the "famous" whitish patina: this means that the chocolate will lose a bit in taste and crunchiness, but it will be still eatable. For this reason it is advisable to preserve dark chocolate under 20 °, in a cool and dry place.
2. Salt: it can be preserved for years thanks to the ability to absorb water
Salt can be preserved in the pantry for many years and it can be used to season foods without any damage to health. The "hygroscopic" property of salt, that is the ability to absorb water, makes it possible to preserve it for a long time: in fact salt is always used not only for seasoning, but above all for preserving food. Absorbing water, salt makes food unattractive to bacteria that could deteriorate it: without water, in fact, bacteria can not multiply. For a perfect preservation, add a few grains of rice to the salt, it will absorb the moisture allowing it to be preserved for years.
3. Sugar: a sweetener and preservative substance with a very long duration
As well as salt, also sugar, both white one and cane one, can be preserved for years as it absorbs water from the food in which it is found: the bacteria can not fed themselves and they are unable to reproduce. For this reason, sugar is used for the preservation of some foods, for example for the preparation of jams and marmalades, as well as for the fruit in syrup: therefore, sugar is itself a preservative. Over time, sugar may harden: to prevent this from happening, wrap the package in plastic or place sugar in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place.
4. Rice: it can be preserved up to 30 years, provided it is not brown
Rice that is well closed in its packaging, or inside an airtight container or freezer bag, can be preserved for years. You must then keep it in a cool and dry place, away from possible insects. Stored at a low temperature, at least at 3 ° C, without oxygen, it can be preserved up to 30 years: if you want to protect it more, you can in fact preserve rice in the freezer inside special bags. The only exception is brown rice, which expires earlier due to the bran rich in unsaturated fats, which after a while makes it rancid: when the brown rice smells like paint it is time to throw it away in the dustbin.
5. Legumes: they last very long because they can not be attacked by mold and bacteria
The dried legumes do not contain water, thanks to the drying process, this makes them unassailable by mold and bacteria. Furthermore, the absence of water blocks the enzymes that would cause the seeds to open. Legumes must be preserved in a cool, dry and dark place, and never under direct light, neither natural nor artificial. In these conditions, they do not lose their properties remaining an excellent source of protein for many years.
6. Wine vinegar: taste and smell remain unchanged over time
Whether it is red, white or balsamic, vinegar is a very acid product that can be preserved for a very long time, since it can be considered as a "wine gone bad" it is as if it had no expiry date. This is due to the bacteria of the genus Acerobacter that, by oxidizing the ethanol of alcoholic beverages, prevent other bacteria from colonizing it. Although vinegar changes color or flavor over time, especially the red one, it does not cause damage to health. The white vinegar, on the other hand, remains unchanged over time. Keep it in a dark and dry place and close it well after each use.
7. Liquors and spirits: those with high alcohol content do not expire
Liquors and spirits with a high alcohol content, such as rum, whiskey, tequila, do not expire, even after opening. Their flavor will remain unaltered over time without deteriorating: in some cases they even improve over the years. Alcohol is in fact a preservative, it promotes dehydration and blocks the proliferation of bacteria: the same thing is also true for tinctures, such as the vanilla extract in alcohol. Also in this case, there is no expiry date.
8. Honey: it lasts a long time thanks to the high sugar content
Even honey is one of the foods that never expire (or almost): it usually has an expiration date, mandatory by law, but its resistance over time is due to the lack of water and the high amount of sugar, which does not allow to the bacteria to attack it. As the months go by, honey may harden or change color, but this is not a health hazard: honey continues to keep its taste and properties intact. To make it liquid again, just put the jar open in a bain-marie. Once opened, the honey should be kept well closed in a dry and dark place