01/6Why does some food taste better as a leftover?
There is nothing like a fresh, home-cooked, nutritious meal for dinner. Unless, of course, if you can make this wholesome platter last for next day’s lunch as well. Leftovers do have a bad name. You might have been alerted or warned to not eat leftover food because it can cause nasty food poisoning symptoms. But do you know there are many dishes which actually taste better and do no harm when left in the fridge for a day or two? And after all, leftovers are actually two meals at the price of one! Moreover, this is one step which can also help you avoid wasting food.
02/6Why do leftovers taste so good?
Something really weird happens when you put your dinner in the fridge and reheat it the next morning. The chemical reactions continue to take place which produce more new flavour molecules. However, some flavour enhancement may involve the breakdown of proteins into amino acids like glutamate and small nucleotides that interact to produce new flavour molecules. Food scientists referred to this as the Maillard reaction which occurs when the leftovers are heated.
03/6What tastes best?
Molecules aside, there is a secret behind leftovers. Not all meals taste amazing when allowed to sit in the fridge overnight. Delicacies with seasonings only taste good as leftovers. But this doesn’t mean your leftover meal doesn’t need a pinch of fresh spices. Even yesterday’s curry needs a fresh drizzle of lime, or spaghetti needs a little more water for moisture.
04/6What foods make good leftovers?
The next time you visit a restaurant take your leftovers back home. These delicacies taste amazing when left in the fridge overnight. As pasta cools, it continues to absorb the flavours of sauces it is in. Moreover, giving a night cool to a toothsome pie will help develop flavourful gel by the pectin development. You won’t believe but a day old pizza is actually heaven to your taste buds. Try it the next time you order one for dinner. You are surely going to love the way cheese, sauce and toppings remelt into the flavourful mixture as it is reheated in an oven. Not only these dishes, but also various soups and stews taste amazing as the flavours mingle when left in the fridge overnight. No wonder foods like Kadhi, Chicken Curry, Rajma and Chhole much better the next day.
05/6Should you reheat leftovers in a microwave?
No doubt microwave is quick and helps in reheating within a minute when you are at work. But at home, make sure you warm up your leftovers at a stove. This is because leftover foods likely need a splash of water or drizzle of oil to freshen them up. When using a stove or oven, the ingredients mix well. You can even choose to grill the veggies and meat for a crisp taste.
06/6What foods can taste awful or bad as leftovers?
Of course, there are things you should not even try as leftovers. Some foods can be harmful to your health when eaten the next day. The salad actually wilts overnight and sandwiches turn soggy in the fridge. Even a heavenly fried chicken deflates and becomes unsavoury. Potato fries also turn to a soggy mess.