FoodShould You Refrigerate Soy Sauce

Should You Refrigerate Soy Sauce

The Proper Way to Store Soy Sauce

When it comes to storing groceries in the refrigerator, the assumption is that it‍ will keep them fresher⁢ longer. However, this is not always the case. Take fresh basil, for example, ‌which food director Chris ​Morocco‌ suggests treating like a bouquet by storing⁤ the stems in a cup of water on the counter. Another example is butter,‍ which can be ​left ‌out at room temperature.

But ⁢what about ⁢soy sauce? Unlike milk or ⁢vegetables, ⁤soy sauce does not spoil or wilt easily, show signs of mold, or exhibit any other signs ⁤of deterioration. Additionally,‌ it is not refrigerated in ​grocery stores. ⁣So, should you follow suit? To answer⁤ this question, it is essential to have a good ⁤understanding of‌ soy sauce.

The Art of Making Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is considered one of the original condiments, with its origins dating‍ back approximately ​2,500 years in China. Over time, it spread across Asia,‌ with countries like⁣ Japan and Korea adapting their​ versions of this staple. As a result, there are ‍now numerous varieties​ of ⁤soy sauce available, each with unique characteristics and uses.

Most‌ soy sauces, including those found in American supermarkets, begin with ⁣soybeans and wheat. ‍The soybeans are ​cooked, combined with wheat, inoculated with a ‍mold called Aspergillus oryzae, and left to ferment. ‌Next, salt water ‌and bacteria like Lactobacillus are added, and ⁣the mixture undergoes fermentation for ‌a period of time. ⁤The longer the fermentation process,‍ the higher the quality and price of⁣ the‌ soy sauce. After fermentation, the soy sauce is strained, pasteurized, and bottled for sale.

If you are avoiding gluten, there are gluten-free ​options available, such as⁤ tamari, which is made from the liquid collected during⁤ miso production. It is important to check⁣ the ingredient list on the label to ensure gluten-free status.

To Refrigerate or Not to Refrigerate?

The decision of whether to refrigerate soy sauce depends ⁢on several factors. Firstly,⁢ consider⁣ how quickly⁢ you use up your supply of ​soy sauce. If you are using‍ soy sauce regularly for‌ various dishes,⁤ you are likely to finish the bottle before it goes bad, even if it is stored ​at room temperature. This is the‌ case for⁤ senior⁣ test kitchen editor Shilpa Uskokovic, who notes that soy ⁣sauce is typically kept on the counter or in the pantry in restaurants and test kitchens.

However, Shilpa ​prefers to​ refrigerate ‍artisanal⁣ soy sauces ⁤at ⁣home. The reason for this is that higher-end soy sauces often lack preservatives,

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