“ Brand: Tupperware / Misc House Type: Storage „
There are two things I really dislike about buying foods that must be refrigerated. One is how quickly some go off, especially lunchmeats (once opened consume within 3 days, I mean who can eat 72 slices of ham in 3 days??????) and fresh produce. The other is how messy the fridge looks, with mixed produce jumbled in the storage compartments and on the shelves vying for space for yogurt pots and what not. I wondered at the lunchmeat directive as I clearly recalled never seeing THAT directive before moving to the UK, and then remembered what I HAD seen
..store in an airtight container after opening. Aha! Doing so vastly increases its storage life to about 14 days and we have not gotten food poisoning yet! But what about the vegetables and fruits and the disorderly shelves?
Having tamed my pantry cupboard thanks to some Tupperware, I turned to the Tupperware website to see if they had anything useful. Of course they did, and a quick trip to EBay revealed an American power seller I had somehow missed before. Her prices were good, the stuff was new, and her feedback phenomenal, so as she had what I was looking for, I placed my order. I chose surface mail, so it took 4 weeks to get here, but I was okay with that. Tupperware has now launched here, so I could also just go through the website and request a UK catalogue if I so desired; sadly the Tupperware site does not yet have a UK online ordering counterpart.
So, what was my wonderful product of the ages? A line of goods called Fridgesmart. Available in three different rectangular sizes as well as a large round size that is actually a cylinder designed to hold entire heads of lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. but that is also suitable for storing bags of plums and other larger quantities of small fruits. What makes these special is that the smaller two sizes are stackable so that the produce is easily obtainable, but tidy, presenting an uncluttered appearance when you open your fridge door. They also have a unique ridged raised bottom and venting system that you can use to easily tailor for the fruit and vegetables you are storing so that they stay fresher much longer. My lettuce stayed fresh to eat for an entire month, so I was able to use all of it and not have any to throw away. My apples and pears did not attract fruit flies or begin to go off in the heat. My leeks are as fresh smelling and looking as when I first bought the entire bunch, 45 days ago. My Mushrooms are as new 15 days on. My blueberries are still plump, firm, and mould free 20 days on. You get the picture.
How it works is actually pretty simple. The bottom of the container is corrugated to create a ridged raised surface to allow full air circulation around the food without any moisture being able to touch the food should any collect in the bottom of the container. In addition, the needed amount of air and moisture is further tailored by the use of two air vent buttons on the front. Simply by pushing the buttons with a finger changes the vent from open to closed and vice versa. The containers do not rely on you to recall which setting to use either; there is a handy food chart with the proper settings on the side. It is therefore easy to know how to store your fresh foods as soon as you unpack them from the shops. Dry garlic? Not suitable for refrigerator. Artichokes? High both vents open. Whats this? Fresh herbs medium (one vent open, one closed). Bag of ripe apples medium. Fresh mushrooms low (both vents closed) Carrots...low. And the list goes on. It is a fairly inclusive list and I can honestly say I have yet to actually purchase anything not covered.
The containers are tinted clear plastic; mine is in the current lovely blue they call Blueberry Mist and which I can further tidy my fridge appearance up by co-ordinating other Tupperware items such as jugs and bowls and whatnot to match. The lid is a nice heavy duty affair, in a darker powdery blueberry. I have safely washed the containers and lids in my dishwasher, though I do all my Tupperware at no more than 50 degrees on an eco wash just to be on the safe side.
The small size will hold a pint of fresh berries as well as one of those double packs of white and green grapes such as you buy at the supermarket (and which now stays completely fresh the entire fortnight it takes us to eat them as we wish in alternation with other fruits!). It has a 1.1 litre capacity by measurement. The medium sized one easily holds 2 litres of food, such as carrots, corn on the cob, or two boxes of fresh mushrooms. You can keep more than one type of fruit or vegetable in the container as long as they take the same vent setting as well. I myself do this with the larger two units, mixing apples and pears for example. The larger rectangular container holds 4.7 litres. Its perfect for those bags of apples, leeks, courgettes, etc. The large round container holds 4.7 litres as well, and you get more optimised space out of it for round shaped foods.
I do not know the full UK retail prices of these, but a look at new sets on EBay comprising of 1 each of the small, medium, and large rectangular units costs about £22 with shipping costs under £4. Tupperware.com in the US have set a price of $75 for the same set, and the US EBay sellers are selling the same set for about $30, though shipping will add that yet again due to bulk in my experience. The round container is selling for £10.99 and less than £3 shipping as a new product from Ebay.co.uk. with the American Tupperware website showing a retail of $13, so the price seems about right. This may seem expensive to some, but these containers have over the past year paid for themselves by saving me money on food, especially the quicker to go off organic produce I buy via a box scheme. So an expense that is definitely worth it, and that along with a few other handy containers from them, have made my fridge tidy and full of food that stays fresh, as well as odour free (from half an onion for example).
My overall verdict? I wish I had had these YEARS ago! Sturdy, easy to use, do as they advertise, and set to last 30 years or more, just like my Moms Tupperware (and the vintage stuff I pick up that is as new!). A must buy for anyone who buys fresh vegetables and fruits.