Which of these does not require refrigeration?
The answer: none of them, at least for a little while.
- Laughing Cow cheese: I bought this at the Shoprite in Lilongwe. I think refrigerated these when I had them in the States, but refrigeration is not mentioned anywhere on the package. I guess there isn't much actual dairy in it then? Still tastes good though. Well, tasted-- I finished these a long time ago.
- Margarine: I had heard that butter could go days without refrigeration, but I had never tried it myself. The container says to store in a cool place. Soon that will be non-existent in Malawi since we are going into hot season. But a fellow teacher told me this stuff will keep unrefrigerated for two years. Mine won't last they long though. I bought this small container so I could make a little toast and butter, and oh my, it is delicious. I should make garlic bread with it too.
- Eggs: Yep, eggs are fine unrefrigerated for several days, if they are freshly laid and unwashed. Eggs have a natural coating that keeps out bacteria and preserves freshness. Lucky me!
Before I cook with an egg, I do a little freshness check, per the Peace Corps Malawi Volunteer Cookbook:
To determine the freshness of an egg, place it in a cup or bowl filled with water.
- Eggs that float are past their prime and should be tossed out
- Eggs that stand on end are more than three days old, but can be used for cooking and baking
- Eggs that lie on their side at the bottom of the cup/bowl are fresh
However, in the U.S. all eggs are washed when they leave the farm, which destroys the coating. So in that case, you should leave your eggs in the fridge. You can read all about it in this article from NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/09/11/336330502/why-the-u-s-chills-its-eggs-and-most-of-the-world-doesnt