By Jaime Brockway / Food52
September 4, 2015

There has been many a heated debate over how to store delicate items like eggs and butter. Some swear that butter is fine when left covered on the counter—and there’s nothing worse than hard butter come baking time, or toast time. And it’s a shame to think that fruit, which looks so lovely piled into a stone bowl on the counter, needs to be hidden in the icebox.

While it would be nice if really fresh, high-quality foods from your local farmer didn’t need to be refrigerated, the truth is that refrigeration helps many items—though not all—remain at their peak longer. We wanted the answers to some of the oft-debated refrigeration mysteries. We went digging, and here’s what we found:

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