The big chill

Conventional wisdom posits that there are some foods meant to be eaten hot, some foods that should be served chilled, and other foods that are best at room temperature. However, it can pay to throw out the rulebook and mix it up a little, for example chilling foods that you might not think would benefit from a stay in the refrigerator. Food & Wine talked to several chefs about the surprising items that taste better cold.

Portobello mushroom lasagna from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten

One such food is potato chips – especially if it’s hot and humid where you live. According to Miami Beach chef Vijayudu Veena, the fridge is the one place that’s consistently dry and cool, so stashing your chips there makes sense. To take it to the next level, says Veena, put the chips in the freezer for extra crispness, because the freezer tends to suck the moisture out of food.

Chef Jason Bergeron encourages us to eat leftover lasagna straight from the fridge. “The reason it tastes great cold is because of the texture change as well as the fact that by sitting overnight it has allowed everything to meld together, creating a uniform taste throughout,” he says. Another chef also had an Italian food in mind, suggesting cold pizza is where it’s at. “There is something so satisfying about the chew of the cold cheese and the bite of chilled tomato sauce,” says chef Joey Ward.

The item that intrigued me the most in this list of fourteen foods was peanut butter. I bought some natural peanut butter and it started to separate, so after I whizzed it back into a homogenous state, I stashed it in the fridge to slow down the separation. I was worried that I would never be able to spread it on bread when it was cold, but I’ll take the chef’s advice and eat it straight from the refrigerator with a spoon.

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  • JaniceKj  on  September 1, 2022

    My husband’s favorite, cold pizza and pastas. I’ve tried many cold leftovers, it’s a hit and miss moment. I’ll try the chips, adding my high school time favorite, ice cream!

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