Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Cinco De Mayo ... Oooh, that's old

In celebration of the fabulous celebration of Cinco De Mayo, it is time to organize your condiments!

For some reason, I have this idea in my head that mustard keeps forever. Yeah ... me, the organized one may have a thing of mustard on the bottom shelf of my fridge from 2007.

You know that even condiments have expiration dates. Hopefully the ketchup, mustard, and mayo you're using for your picnics and bonfires this summer aren't from last summer! (though it appears my mustard is now 2 summers)

Here are a few rough shelf-lives of some common condiments:

MAYONNAISE: is good for two to three months if not opened. If opened, it is good for two months in the fridge.

KETCHUP: This will last for one year unopened and eight to twelve months opened in the fridge. If opened and kept at room temperature in the pantry, the shelf life drops to 1 month.

MUSTARD: Mustard holds up pretty well. It is good for two years unopened. Once open, its shelf life is six to eight months in the fridge or the pantry.

JAM, JELLY & PRESERVES: Store these unopened for up to one year. In the fridge, they will store opened for one year.

SALAD DRESSING: Up to two years unopened, though once you break the seal 9 months, if kept in the fridge.

MAPLE SYRUP: Only thing I could find is 1 year after opening. Mine usually doesn't last more than a couple months.

HALF & HALF: Store it unopened in the fridge for up to four weeks. Once it is opened, its shelf life is only one week! Anyone else need to start buying the smaller carton? I thought I was being frugal by buying the larger size that will last a couple weeks. Live and learn.

SOY SAUCE: Store unopened for about 1 year. Three to six months once opened, and yeah, you are suppose to refrigerated it.

As a rule of thumb, condiments that have a higher sugar and salt content stay fresh longer and have a longer shelf life. And if there is no expiration date on the package, just use this rule: "When in doubt, throw it out."

How old is your mustard?

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