I just wrote an article on how to reduce what you store in the refrigerator, and here I am now adding two items to the list of what you should keep there. Oh well, that’s the way it goes.
If you’re cruising in temperate climates, you may not find it necessary to store these items in the refrigerator. But in a tropical summer, it can make all the difference — and once you’re bought something, you want to be able to use it, right?
One of the first things that we learned is that when wasabi gets warm, it quickly loses its bite. It doesn’t just degrade slightly — it has all the flavor of sawdust. Ditto for horseradish, although it has a slightly longer shelf life outside the refrigerator.
Regardless of whether you use powder or paste, and even if the container is unopened, both wasabi and horseradish need to be stored in the refrigerator if they are to be stored for any time at all.
Also beware of buying any wasabi or horseradish that’s in stores without air conditioning!
When you’re in the middle of a repair job — particularly when you’re a day or more from a hardware store — you really don’t want to discover that the tube of sealant you need is rock hard. We did, several times. A couple of times, we even found unopened tubes had gone off. To say that we were not happy would be an understatement.
Once we began storing the sealants in the refrigerator, we found that we could easily keep them six months or more, even once they were opened (of course, we made sure they were tightly re-sealed).
Our refrigerator had one corner that was awkward to get to, and we put all the little tubes in a plastic box with a lid and stuck it back in there. They don’t need to be in a particularly cold section of the refrigerator, and you don’t want them up against a chill plate where they could freeze (freezing is generally bad for sealants).
I also stuck several of the large tubes (like you use with a caulk gun) behind our drink storage bins.
Even with storing the sealants in the refrigerator, I recommend checking all of them before leaving a major port if you’re going to be in places where you can’t get more. We always made sure we had several fresh tubes on board before we left La Paz to spend summer in the Sea of Cortez. And we tried to buy from air conditioned stores unless we knew it was something we were going to use immediately. When possible, lightly squeeze the tube before buying to make sure that the contents are still good.
If you know of any other “unusual” items that it pays to keep refrigerated, please share it with others in the comments below.