How long does sofrito last in the fridge? It’s a question many passionate home cooks have asked before. Well, you can find the answer to that in the rest of this post. Check it out below!
What is Sofrito? A Brief History
Sofrito is a special flavor, a mix of spices and other aromatic ingredients sauteed in cooking oil that serves as the base for many Cuban recipes. The making of sofrito usually involves heating virgin olive oil mixed with various vegetables and finely chopped spices. The spices are traditionally garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables.
Most Cuban families even have their own homemade sofrito recipes, and of course, you can find various brands of them. You can use them in seasoning countless dishes such as rice, beans, stews, and even meat. Although it's vital to Latin cuisine, it doesn't originate there, nor is it restricted to Latin America or Caribbean cooking.
"Sofrito" is a Spanish name that means to fry something lightly (stir fry or sauté). This is a cooking technique Spanish colonists brought and shared to Latin America and the Caribbean in the late 1400s. That was when the name came to be, but the technique itself is much older than that. It was referenced as "sofregit" circa 1324 in "Libre de Sent Soví, a Catalan cookbook.
How Long Does Sofrito Last in the Fridge?
Sofrito can last for an extended period. How long does sofrito last in the fridge? If you store it properly, it should last you up to 3 months. But if you keep it in the freezer, sofrito can even last up to a year. Of course, this depends on storage and the sofrito itself. You cannot be sure how store-bought sofrito is cooked, after all. In that case, it's best to check the labels.
How to Store Sofrito
People have all kinds of ways of storing sofrito. They even use different things for storage. You will find some of them freezing their sofrito in ice cube trays. But it is also perfectly alright to put them in Tupperware containers, jars, or even recycled margarine containers. If you made your own, it's a good idea to put some in a mason jar to store in the fridge. The rest you can put in plastic containers to keep in the freezer for longer shelf life.
How to Make Your Sofrito Last Longer
How long does an unopened jar of sofrito last? It should still last months if you are careful. The tomatoes in sofrito help extend the product's shelf life because they are acidic. If cooked at boiling point, most bacteria present on it should be have been killed as well. The fact that it doesn’t contain concentrated water help as well.
That said, it should last more than a week, even after opening. Just make sure to refrigerate it properly. It would be best to use only clean utensils when taking some of the product from the jar. It will only ruin your sofrito if you use a spoon that already came from your mouth to scoop it, not to mention it is bad manners.
How Can You Tell if a Sofrito Has Gone Bad?
You can tell if your sofrito has already gone bad through your own senses. Check for any abnormal colors and smell the sofrito when you open it. If it doesn't smell or look weird, then it should be safe. You can also check the labels if it is a store-bought one. There should be a date that tells you how long the product lasts.
Common Uses of Sofrito
There are three common ways you can use sofrito when cooking. They are:
- As a Base: Most Cuban families use sofrito as a base. They use the flavorful sauce as the foundation for various dishes such as saucy braises and paella. They even use it to put flavor in their sauteed vegetables. Other dishes where it's used as a base include stews and soups.
- As a Sauce: If you want, you can use it as a sauce for your fried eggs or just over rice. With that, you already have an easy-to-make, flavorful meal. It's perfect for breakfast or lunch, a simple dish you can serve in no time.
- As a Filling: You can also use sofrito as a filling for various foods. You can add flavor to ground beef or chorizo using sofrito, then use the mixture to fill some empanadas.
Various Recipes that Use Sofrito
You can use sofrito to make so many tasty things such as:
- Chicken and Rice – Add sofrito to a pan along with rice, chicken stock, herbs, spices, and jalapeño.
- Black Bean Soup – Sofrito's garlic, onions, and peppers make an excellent base for a delectable black bean soup.
- Beans and Rice – Cuban black beans taste great with sofrito, especially with a bit of creativity, like adding more special herbs and spices.
How long does sofrito last in the fridge? It should last you a few months, enough to make several delicious meals using this special flavor. One of the best tasting and healthiest sauces ever, sofrito is an excellent addition to every household's cupboard.