Saturday, January 21, 2012

The right temperature for the right food

After back-to-back posts on truffle balls (albeit rather different truffle balls), I thought I should step away from my food processor for a little while.

All the way over to the fridge.

You see, several things have recently caused me to ponder how my food tastes change according to temperature. I think it goes without saying that most people prefer some things cold and some things hot. Few, I suspect, would disagree with the idea that ice cream is best served frozen.

If you're like me, though, you also have foods that you freeze even if that isn't the typical way of serving them. Bananas, for intance. Or you may like some things warmed up, even if others raise an eyebrow or two. Weet-bix, maybe. Right?

Here are my best-frozen, best-chilled, best-at-room-temperature, and best-warm lists of foods (and drinks) that may not traditionally be served at those temperatures. Some foods move between lists over time, so consider this a snapshot at this moment - and I'd love to hear yours!

Best frozen


I'm sure I am not alone here. I very rarely eat bananas plain (perhaps 3 or 4 times a year), but I could eat them frozen every day. Sometimes they are processed into banana softserve, but sometimes I'll just eat them plain. I freeze my bananas peeled and broken in half, in small zip-lock bags, so eating them from the bag is easy. It's like a natural, creamy, ice-pole.

Compared to this... could this possibly not be more fun?


Yoghurt really belongs in the frozen and chilled categories, but I think the frozen category is less 'normal' and so I thought it deserved mention. Also, I'm typing this on a 37'C day. Frozen is looking pretty good all around at the moment.

I think it's established that I adore soft-serve frozen yoghurt, but the type I'm talking about here is actually the regular, non-frozen, variety. (Non-frozen that turns into frozen. It's all a bit confusing really.)

One of the disadvantages of natural pot-set yoghurt is that it actually doesn't lend itself well to freezing. For this reason alone I still sometimes buy the commercial, flavoured soy yoghurts that come in individual tubs. If you time it just right with those small containers, you can freeze them until they're almost frozen solid but not quite. It's like soft-serve frozen yoghurt, but without the hassle or cost of tracking it down. When I bought the regular dairy commercial yoghurts, I ate them frozen about as often as I ate them from the fridge.


As with yoghurt, I like grapes in chilled as well as frozen form. However, when frozen they turn into individual bursts of sorbet-like sweetness. Very fun in summer. And just in general for that matter.

Just make sure they are seedless: seeds rather compromise the sorbet experience.

Best chilled


I like mango in most forms (including frozen), but I like it best chilled. At room temperature it seems too sticky and slimy; refrigeration seems to help with the texture whilst also enhancing the taste.

Sultana bran with (non-dairy) milk

I tried this by accident when I took sultana bran to work and put it in the fridge for a while with coconut milk already added. When I returned half an hour later, it was amazing. The sultana bran had absorbed most of the liquid (possibly because I don't tend to use a lot) and was delightfully chilled. It was the best bowl of cereal I'd had in a long time, and I now recreate the experience regularly. It just seems to taste better cold! I've tried it with soy and rice milk as well as coconut, and all work well.

Chilled sultana bran and chilled mango


Although I really like baked potatoes, there is something about cold (cooked, mind you, but cooked and then cooled) potatoes that I find quite addictive. I like them completely plain, although a bit of parsley sprinkled on top is allowed.

Best at room temperature


Although I will definitely still eat chocolate from the fridge, I prefer it unchilled. I like to enjoy soft centres or contrasting textures if they are available, and in the fridge, everything merges together somewhat. I find the taste less sharp from the fridge too.

Wrap / tortilla bread

Commercial wrap bread packets recommend warming the wraps before serving. I like mine unwarmed, straight from the packet, even if they are being filled with warm contents.


I get through quite a lot of water, and I find that when it's chilled it is too cold to drink in large bursts! I like soda water cold, and cold water on a very hot day is always appreciated, but most of the time I drink water at room temperature. Carting it around in water bottles may have contributed to this tendency.

Best warm


But only in Winter. And then warm and mushy.

Crumpets and English Muffins

Not toasted, you understand, but warmed. I like these soft, and in the case of crumpets, warmed to the point that they are capable of just slightly absorbing my honey.


I'm not a big pasta eater, but if I'm having it, it will definitely not be in cold pasta salad. Ick.

And there we have (some of) my personal, possibly idiosyncratic, food temperature preferences. How do they compare to yours?!


On comments: Some of you who comment (to who, as always, I am very grateful) may have noticed that I switched from the Disqus commenting system back to Blogger about a week ago. This followed on from the temporary Disqus glitch I experienced, which I think was triggered by Blogger upgrading their comment system. Blogger now has threaded comment replies, and as wanting that was what prompted me to use Disqus, I made the switch back.

However, I've found that there are other things I miss about Disqus and so I'm considering returning to it. Before doing so, I wanted to check if anyone who comments has a preference. Is one easier than the other for you? Any pros or cons for either Disqus or Blogger? If you do have an opinion or preference, I'd love to hear it!


  1. I didn't like Disqus.. there were a few times where it would say, "wait...." as the comment box was loadiing and it would never switch to, "Type comment here." It also rarely accepted my blog name. I prefer blogger!

    I love frozen grapes.. so good in the summer. I've never tried eating a frozen banana straight from the freezer.

    1. Thank you - that's good feedback on Disqus (I didn't know that!). Duly noted. And I'm glad to discover a fellow frozen grape lover :) Bananas are really good, but are harder to eat frozen than grapes!

  2. I have to say I preferred Disqus because, as I mentioned before, it would email me the replies and without that I have a hard time with comment "conversations", as it takes a lot of time and my limited bandwidth to go back and check on every single blog I've commented on just in case someone has replied by the time I check. But ultimately it's up to what works best for you and your blog, and I'll do my best to check back every now and again to see if you've said anything back to me :)

    It's fascinating reading this post, as I've mentioned before that I'e just realised that my super sensitive teeth are what lead me to eat 'most everything in a warmed state (candy bars included :P ) and to avoid frozen things. I've been eating frozen banana in recent hot days, but it's a struggle because it honestly hurts.

    Oh, and just so you know, your first generalisation fails because of me. I often stir my ice cream until it's pretty much melted and doesn't hurt to eat anymore :P

    1. Your poor teeth!! That really sounds challenging. I can't bite into cold things with my front teeth, but if I use the back ones I'm usually fine. My Mum is a bit like you though, both with very cold and very hot. It sounds like non-frozen would definitely be a better standard for your foods, all around :)

      The comment replies was one of the things that prompted me to re-consider Disqus, as I really value that in others' blogs (including yours!). But I'm really excited to have discovered that it is possible in Blogger...I'll note it in my next post, but you just have to click 'subscribe by email' below your comment when you comment. Then you get replies by email :)

    2. I'm interested by others' comments here, because I rarely have to log in or fill out any forms with disqus; it remembers me. I wonder why it's so different for everyone?!

    3. I think part of it may be that it's actually simplest to just do name / URL and then it will remember that, but if you try to log in with another account it's harder? From a few things I've gathered. But I truly have no idea.

  3. Sounds like we have an opposite dislike of cold things. I do enjoy pasta salads but am not very fond of cold or room temperature potatoes so potato salad isn't a favourite thing of mine.

    I wasn't the biggest fan of Disqus, purely because you have to login to leave a comment. It won't stop me from leaving you a comment if you chose to go back to Disqus though. ;)

    1. Funny :) I think temperatures are such a personal thing! Although I don't actually like traditional potato salad at all, just plain potatoes of those quirks I suppose.

      Thank you for the Disqus feedback, that's much appreciated! It's looking like Blogger might be easier for people to use, so I'm grateful to know that.

  4. I have no preference on comment platforms!

    But - I completely agree with you about chilling mango, eating tortillas & wraps at room temperature, and also - cold potatoes. I used to love having leftover mashed potatoes straight from the fridge for breakfast. When I ate dairy, I did the same with mac & cheese. Yum.

    And thanks for reminding me about frozen grapes! I used to freeze them all the time in school, and they are yum. I bet they would be good 'ice cubes' in mixed drinks, which I almost never have but think I should do more often.

    1. Yay for cold potatoes! This is rather fun discovering what others do and don't like. I like the frozen grapes as ice cubes idea too - and you've reminded me that I should think about ice cubes in general more often. I completely neglect them as options for jazzing up drinks.

    2. Frozen melon chunks would make cool ice cubes, too!

  5. I think I prefer the blogger system, though I dislike the captcha thing. I take the view that if someone has commented before and is clearly not a spammer, they can be trusted to comment without moderation. Akismet catches all the spam comments for wordpress com blogs anyway. I only moderate comments which have links in, if they are written by people who have commented before. Some people's blogs seem to have very simple four or five letter captchas, others have two or even three hard to read words. As I am on a different blogging platform I have a different experience I guess.

    I don't like eating very cold food much, so it's great to hear a different take on it, and I am really tempted to try those bananas to see what I am missing!

    The cold reduces flavour and aroma for me and so unless it's a very hot day and I want to eat something cool I nearly always prefer foods at room temperature, apart from ice cream and fresh fruit salads which I like chilled. OH prefers his chocolate fridge cold, but not me!

    1. Thanks Joanna, I did remember you having some trouble with Disqus and I'm getting the sense Blogger might be a much easier option. But I don't think I have captchas turned on do I?? I certainly don't mean to, I'll have to investigate to check.

      I think living in Australia might have something to do with the cold / frozen foods, so perhaps that's why I've experimented with them so much. I hope you enjoy the bananas if you do try them! I'm completely with you on chocolate though :)

  6. I'm loving frozen smoothies at the moment. I got the boys some iceblock makers for Christmas, and they've been a darn good investment!
    Now frozen grapes I haven't tried, but I can so see that. That would be fantastic on a hot summers day. As for warm weetbix...nahhh, you can keep that one Kari ;-)

    ps. Comments, same same for me. Either is fine.

    1. You've reminded me of the potential of iceblock / iceypole makers :) We had some when I was a child and they were great fun. I may look into them again...or raid my parent's cupboards to see if the originals are still around!

      I hope you enjoy frozen grapes if you try them out. They're great for children too, and a super easy Summer treat.

  7. I am the opposite when it comes to water! I love it ice cold!

  8. I completely agree with you on frozen grapes and room temperature chocolate, but warm weet-bix, that is just wrong!

    I'm not so keen on cold potato (although if you chill boiled potatos then slice and fry them they are gorgeous) but I LOOOOOVE cold pumpkin with some salt and pepper. Mmmm, smushed on a sandwich as a spread or just on its own. Yummy.

    1. Who knew warm weetbix could be so controversial?! :)

      I like that cold pumpkin idea! I like cold sweet potato too so perhaps all of that vegetable family would work cold for me.

  9. Thought I would add my two pence about blogger vs disqus - I like that disqus links to blog urls rather than blogger profile pages - these profile pages were probably well meant but don't really seem to be used well and end up being an extra click most of the time rather than useful - and I dislike the captcha code but I find the blogger comments quicker because I don't have to open up the disqus window each time and I had problems if I was on a computer that didn't have my login remembered and sometimes I didn't leave my url because it was confusing!

    As for hot and cold - I agree on weetbix with warm milk - or no milk at all - but I like my water cold and my bananas at room temp

    1. Thanks Johanna - your comment motivated me to double-check that I had captcha turned off and of course it turned out that it was on! So that is much appreciated. Switching back from Disqus must have re-activated it.

      I'm thrilled to have found someone who agrees with warm weetbix. And I guess you have plenty of company with room temperature bananas, so I'll forgive you that ;)

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