Are we all calmed down after yesterday’s big shakeup? Good, because you’ve got some reading to do. In today’s Food section, we look at the changing fortunes of local chef Roberto Donna, once the name behind 11 restaurants and now facing challenges to keep just one place going. We introduce you to two former Senate aides who are working toward opening a barbecue restaurant next month. And we visit the Rockville home kitchen of Vicky and Demetri Tsipianitis, prolific cooks whose food reflects their common Greek heritage.
And then, of course, there’s the Free Range chat at noon. Bring your questions about any of those stories or any other culinary topic that’s on your mind. We’ll do our best to get you an answer.
Here’s a leftover we didn’t get to in last week’s chat:
We bought ground decaf coffee for my father-in-law when he came to visit, but we don’t drink it ourselves. Can we freeze what’s left until he visits again? If so, what’s the best way to pack it, and how long will it keep in the freezer?
Do you want the man to keep visiting? If so, toss the coffee.
Storing whole beans for a long time is iffy enough, but after they’re ground, taste starts to deteriorate faster. I suppose you could seal the coffee in an airtight bag and freeze it for a week or two, but not only will it lose flavor, it’s also prone to pick up the taste of what’s in your freezer. So unless your father-in-law enjoys a hot cup of shrimp-flavored joe, freezing is not a good idea.
I asked Starbucks whether they advise freezing their coffee. A company spokeswoman e-mailed this response: “Once roasted, coffee begins to lose its flavor the longer it is exposed to air and moisture. We recommend buying your coffee weekly, storing it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place and grinding it just before brewing.” Not really a direct response to the question, but I think it’s clear that the procedure you’re contemplating doesn’t meet that standard of care.
And you didn’t ask, but storing in the refrigerator is no better. In fact, some coffee experts say it’s worse, because it’s a moister environment.
The bottom line: Next time a father-in-law visit is imminent, buy a new supply of decaf and send it home with him. Otherwise, you’re just wasting money.