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Ever try to spread rock hard butter on a slice of toast? It’s like nails on a chalkboard. Here, nine foods that actually taste, slice and spread better when you leave them out on the counter.

Butter

Butter

Although it contains pasteurized milk, butter can, and should, sit on the counter for a couple of days (even longer for salted, which has a lower risk of contamination). Worried you can’t go through butter that quickly? Put out a quarter stick at a time.

Melons

Melons

Uncut melons with a rough skin (like watermelon and cantaloupe) need to be left out in order to properly ripen. The one exception? Honeydew, which actually doesn’t continue to ripen after picking and does just fine in the fridge.

Tomatoes

Like melons, these guys just get better and better at room temperature. If you're worried they're getting soft, you can refrigerate them. Or, better yet, use them right away.

Potatoes

Refrigeration causes the starch in potatoes to change into sugar, which means a gritty texture and sweet flavor. Instead, keep them in a paper bag in a cool, dark place—like under your sink. Or, heck, under your bed.

Onions

Onions + fridge = mushy goo at the bottom of your crisper.

Bread

We know you’re worried about bugs, but refrigerating that loaf of rye is not the answer. (It’ll dry out and get stale.) Instead, store in a breadbox for up to a week, or freeze for up to three months.

Honey

Cold temps cause crystals to form faster. And nobody wants crystals in their chamomile.

Coffee

Ground beans can actually absorb the odor of other foods while in the fridge. Tilapia-flavored coffee? Ew. Keep the bag in the pantry for up to two weeks--or in the freezer if you’re storing long-term.

Basil

Basil

Unlike other herbs, this one wilts in the cold temperatures and absorbs other food smells. Instead, place it on your counter in a cup of water like fresh flowers.

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