The Only Way You Should Store Mustard, According to French’s

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate—that is the question.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images </p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

I keep mustard in the fridge at home. At restaurants, the bottle is always sitting on the counter. Which is the best way to store this popular condiment? To find the right answer, I spoke to went to Hadar Cohen Aviram, Executive Chef, US Consumer for McCormick & Company, the company behind French's mustard.

Where you store mustard depends on whether it’s unopened or opened. “Keep unopened mustard at room temperature away from light,” Cohen Aviram says. “Make sure not to store it in high temperatures or under direct light—these might cause it to lose flavor faster.”

Once you open a bottle of mustard, then you should keep it in the refrigerator. “The cold, dark environment will keep freshness at its best,” Cohen Aviram says. “Try not to leave it out for long stretches of time—remember those high temps and light exposure? It'll make the mustard lose its flavor faster!"

Restaurants often leave mustard sitting on the counter. However, the best practice is to keep mustard in the fridge. It does have a high acid content, points out the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), so there is some leeway to refrigeration. It’s less likely to spoil as fast as condiments like mayonnaise or creamy salad dressings.

For best quality and safety, keep mustard in the refrigerator. Once open, it should safely last there for about a year, according to the USDA. Each mustard bottle has a best-by date stamped on the container. This is the date it’s recommended you use the mustard for the best flavor, freshness, and quality.

If you don’t like your condiments cold, Cohen Aviram offers a pro tip: “Start your meal prep by portioning out the desired mustard amount into a small bowl,” she suggests. “By the time you’ll need the mustard, it’ll already get to room temperature.”

Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe
Simply Recipes / Ciara Kehoe

When you taste your mustard and it isn’t quite as pungent and has mellowed, that’s when you should probably get a new bottle. When it’s not so fresh, the quality can suffer, says Cohen Aviram.

She also suggests making sure the cap stays intact and doesn’t break off. “French’s yellow mustard cap allows you to pull it all the way back until it clicks,” she says. “This helps keep the consistency of French’s mustard that fans know and love while avoiding those crusty bits. The end result is the perfect squeeze with the utmost convenience.”

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.