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Why Ina Garten Never Stores Vinegar In The Pantry
Culinary queen Ina Garten has no qualms with using store-bought ingredients; her catchphrase over the years has become, “Store bought is fine.” Given the Barefoot Contessa’s knack for not playing by the kitchen rules, fans might not be surprised to learn that Garten doesn’t store vinegar in the conventional spot in her kitchen like others.
Instead of the pantry cupboard, Garten stores a wide variety of vinegar in the refrigerator, and as she has said, “I keep them in the fridge [...] I just find that they don't develop bacteria in the fridge.” Although vinegar is formed because of acetic acid-making bacteria, Garten isn’t wrong in her storage practice.
Some vinegar varieties that aren't stored in cool, dark places start losing their flavor integrity because bacteria continue fermenting in warmer temperatures. Although not every kind of vinegar — like the super acidic varieties — needs to be stored in the fridge, the milder balsamic and wine vinegar varieties are better in the refrigerator.