Gazpacho and salmorejo are two of the star dishes of each summer that we repeat tirelessly. Although sometimes we resort to packaged commercials, there is nothing like making your own homemade gazpacho to taste. It is worth preparing extra portions to always have it ready in the fridge, but do we know how many days it can be keep in good state? How long does it take to spoil?
The truth is that there is no single and simple answer, because, as often happens in the kitchen, depends. Just as many commercial products indicate a preferred consumption date, or simply “once opened, consume in three or four days”, it is impossible to know for sure when a gazpacho will no longer be in good condition. But we can make a approximate estimation and extend the conservation to the maximum.
What does conservation depend on?
Food spoils due to action of external agents, fundamentally oxygen, light, heat and microorganisms. The refrigerator slows down the degradation and protects for a time from the development of fungi or bacteria, and freezing slows down this process even more, without ever stopping it completely.
Raw vegetables ripen or degrade more quickly at room temperature -also depending on whether or not they are climacteric- and spoil sooner when they are cut or peeled, unprotected by their skins, leaves and bark. Gazpacho and salmorejo have the advantage of being dishes precisely rawwithout cooking, and which are also 100% vegetables -separate garnishes-, without animal ingredients that can accelerate decomposition.
Therefore, they are foods that present fewer risks sanitary than others typical of summer, such as salad, breaded chicken breast or potato omelette; but that does not mean that they are eternal.
These cold soups and creams will spoil faster depending on the quality and freshness of its ingredients, the ambient temperature and humidity, and also the container in which they are stored. Additionally, the total acids present in your recipe can increase or decrease shelf life.
How long can they be kept?
Experts agree in pointing out the three or four days as a general rule to have optimal conservation in which they have not lost their quality. It is also the range of time that manufacturers normally mark on their gazpachos once opened, curing a little in health, because after those days they cannot guarantee that they maintain their properties.
However, both gazpacho and salmorejo they can go bad before if they have not been preserved quickly or in adequate conditions, if it is very hot or if the ingredients were already asking for retirement; and in the same way they can be kept well even up to a week.
the nutritionist Cristina Galiano This is what he affirms, extending the period of conservation at home up to seven days if it has been done correctly, while Lluis Riera of the Saia consultancy advised in 20 Minutes not to exceed three or four days.
The food safety expert Beatrice Robles indicates to DAP that industrial soups and creams, both fresh and pasteurized, once opened, we have to check if the secondary expiration date is indicated on the packaging (“once opened, consume within a maximum period of X days), but the usual thing is that they last about three or four days without problems.
The same period of time is what marks as safe for the conservation of homemade gazpachos and salmorejos, recommending that do not exceed four days in the fridge, always applying logic. If there are obvious signs of alteration or deterioration, even if it was prepared the day before, it must be discarded.
However, Robles warns, “you have to know that there are pathogenic microorganisms that do not produce alterations (the food may be in apparent good condition but have microorganisms or their toxins), therefore, if we have doubts of how it has been preserved, it is best to discard it”. Prevention is always better than cure.
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How to extend the conservation of gazpacho
We have already mentioned that it is essential to start with top quality ingredients and, as Robles reminds us, maximizing the basic food safety guidelinessuch as hand washing, working with clean surfaces, fresh products properly washed.
In addition, in the event that risk groups such as pregnant women are going to consume it, advises us to disinfect the vegetables. To do this, “after washing, they are immersed in water with bleach that indicates ‘suitable for disinfection of drinking water’, with a solution of one dessert spoon of bleach for every three liters of water”, and then it is necessary to rinse awareness.
If the ingredients have been previously refrigerated, we will have our gazpacho already cold when it comes out directly from the blender. If it is not going to be consumed immediately, it must be keep it in the fridgeand transfer it to a suitable container in case we do not plan to take it all in the next few hours.
ideal is separate the amount that we want to keep a few days of the portions for immediate consumption, so as not to have to keep opening and closing the container. And speaking of packaging, it must be completely clean and disinfected, better if it is made of a good quality material such as glass or a thermal and opaque container, with a small opening and an airtight lid.
We will extend the conservation even more if the container is compatible with a short or medium-term vacuum packaging machine, to extract the maximum oxygen from it. Otherwise, it is preferable that the space adapts to the content, without leaving much space vacuum between the top layer of cream and the lid.
To preserve it better we can adapt the recipe a bit, adding more vinegar and/or lemon juice which will make it more acidic, lowering the pH and delaying oxidation. And, of course, we will avoid adding the garnish until the moment of serving.
It should also be remembered that the refrigerator door is more exposed to changes in temperature and is the least cold area. If possible, we will keep our soups cold in a low temperature zone and protected from thermal changes. Ideally, we will only open the container once or twice more, because the more we expose the gazpacho or salmorejo to the air, the faster it will spoil.
Let’s not forget that almost all summer cold soups and creams can be frozen, although there are some issues to consider about their texture.
Taurus Optima Magnum Blender, 1200 W, 1.75 L, stainless steel
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