Basic ingredients need to be understood. Which ones are dry, which are wet, which are perishable, which will keep, which need chilled storage. Also check out ‘Know your ingredients’ post for more information.
Type of product:
Dry goods: flour, sugars, rice, pasta, cornflour, dried spices, dried herbs, stuffing, dried fruits, nuts, raising agents. Store in a cupboard.
Fresh goods: vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, potatoes, salad ingredients need cool storage but not always the refrigerator. Fresh food is sometimes known as perishable food because the storage life is limited. Perishable foods
Frozen foods: all manner of food products can be frozen and require packaging to retain the product in good condition. Damaged packaging can result in ‘freezer burn’ which causes dry and tough patches on meat such as chicken portions. Some frozen food is raw and requires cooking after thawing for example chicken portions, pastry. Some frozen food can be cooked from frozen such as peas, potato wedgies, pizza. Some frozen products are assembled and ready-to-cook for example pies, lasagne and pizza. Store in a freezer at minus 18 C.
Chilled foods: Margarines, spreads, butter, lard, ready-meals, desserts, salad ingredients, ready-to-eat pies, pasties, quiches, ready-to-use pastry. This section includes dairy foods (see below). Store food in a refrigerator below 5C.
Dairy produce: milks, creams, yoghurts, butter, cheeses (hard, soft and cream)
Condiments: chutney, sauces, ketchups, mustards, vinegar, soy sauce, curry sauces, plum sauce. Store in cupboard.
Categories for basic ingredients could be linked to your storage areas:
The Eatwell Guide based on five food groups:
The Eatwell Guide shows the proportions that will achieve a varied and healthy diet.