Think that storing something in the refrigerator is no big deal?

It is if it changes the taste, flavor or lowers the nutritional content of the item. Your fridge should be considered a short term holding place, not a long term storage facility. Here are 5 foods you should never refrigerate – a few were a bit of a surprise!

1. Chocolate – Yep, it’s true. you should definitely not store chocolate in the icebox and here’s why. Storing chocolate in the refrigerator leads to “sugar bloom”. This occurs when chocolate is removed from the fridge and is exposed to warmer air, causing condensation to form on the chocolate’s surface and dissolving some of the sugar. As the chocolate dries out the sugar recrystallizes and comes to the surface, forming a grainy coating and ruining the smooth texture of your bar. Yuck! Chocolate is supposed to be a melt-in-your-mouth experience, not a grainy nightmare! In addition, chocolate tends to absorbs other odors. So storing it in the fridge will allow it to take on the flavors of whatever else is in your fridge. So where should you keep your delicious chocolate? Ideally, you’ll want to keep chocolate in a sealed, airtight bag tucked into a dark corner of your kitchen, kept at room temperature.

2. Coffee – I’ve definitely been guilty of this one. Refrigeration is super bad for coffee because of the moisture that occurs in the fridge. When moisture condenses on coffee grounds or beans, it damages the coffee’s flavor. For optimal coffee flavor, store it in an airtight container at room temperature. Grind beans just before brewing.

3. Tomatoes – When you store tomatoes in the fridge, they tend to become tasteless and mealy. Cold air prevents tomatoes from ripening properly and causes them to lose flavor. Instead, keep tomatoes on the counter at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.

4. Basil – Storing basil in the fridge will cause it to wilt and turn black. Not cute. Treat basil like you would flowers. Keep it in a glass of water on your countertop. Better still – buy a basil plant!

5. Regular and sweet potatoes – Storing regular potatoes in your fridge for more than a few weeks will cause the sugar content to rise, changing the flavor and nutritional balance. An increase in sugar levels will also cause the potatoes to discolor when you cook them. But keeping them on the countertop can lead to other problems. If potatoes are exposed to light at warmer temperatures, it can raise the level of glycoalkaloids, a naturally occurring compound that can make your potatoes taste bitter and even become toxic if consumed in high doses. So where should you keep them? Ideally, in a paper bag in a dark, cool corner of a cabinet. With sweet potatoes, refrigeration is even worse. They can’t tolerate being cold for even a short amount of time. When they are cooked after being in the fridge they will develop an “off’ taste and have a hard core. They are fine stored on the countertop.