Special Report

20 Foods to Buy While You’re Sheltering in Place

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6. Dark chocolate
> Shelf life: 2 to 5 years

Chocolate with a high cacao content and little or no milk — dark chocolate — will last much longer than milk chocolate, which contains dairy products subject to quicker spoilage. High temperatures are bad for all chocolate, but the dark variety should last for a couple of years at temperatures up to about 75º F, and will keep for as long as five years if stored between 60º and 65º F.

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7. Dried beans
> Shelf life: Indefinite

Dried beans will last for many years if they’re kept away from moisture. As they age, however, they grow ever drier, and preparing them to edible tenderness will require longer presoaking and/or cooking times.

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8. Dried pasta
> Shelf life: 1 to 2 years past “best by” date

Fresh pasta, usually made with eggs, is a perishable commodity and most varieties should be kept refrigerated. Dried pasta, on the other hand, traditionally made with just semolina wheat flour and water, has a long shelf life as long as no moisture seeps into the package.

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9. Freeze-dried coffee
> Shelf life: Up to 25 years

Because virtually all the moisture has been removed from these coffee crystals, they’re not susceptible to bacterial contamination. Kept in a sealed container, freeze-dried coffee will caffeinate you for years and years. Regular instant coffee boasts similarity longevity, but what ends up in the cup usually isn’t as flavorful.

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10. Ghee
> Shelf life: Up to 2 years

Ghee is clarified butter, butter from which the milk solids have been removed. (It’s the lactose in the milk solids that causes it to go bad.) An unopened can or jar of ghee, however, will stay good for many months if it’s stored in a cool, dark place. (Frozen, it lasts indefinitely.)