All posts tagged: preserving food

PRESERVED FOOD

In a previous era preserving food was a common, everyday activity, dependant on the season, availability and local conditions. Summer fruit and vegetables were preserved when they were is season. Meat was slaughtered in late autumn with the first ground frosts. In the absence of refrigeration populations had no choice but to preserve food according to availability and the methods passed down from one generation to the next. Preserved food would have formed a much larger portion of mankind’s everyday diet than it does today. It is impossible to talk about preserving food without talking about spoilage for, at heart, food preservation is about preventing putrification and rot. Applying some very simple techniques can arrest the process of both and preserve food for lengthy periods of time allowing us to eat food either out of season, in times of scarcity or simply to relish the sheer number of strong, tangible and desirable flavours that preserved foods deliver. A number of factors cause food to decay: warmth, oxygen, moisture, light, enzymes and microorganisms. To prevent food …

Modern Methods of Food Preservation

COOLING/FREEZING The activity of micro-organisms and enzymes is halted when food is frozen allowing food and nutrients to be preserved for long periods of time. In the case of refrigeration microbial and enzymatic activity is considerably reduced in temperatures below 5 degrees centigrade, which is why refrigeration is such an effective means of food preservation. Whilst some cultures sought out caves to preserve food and aristocrats built cool houses the vast body of everyday cooks had access to neither. Refrigeration is an excellent modern invention and an ideal way to keep raw food fresh. CANNING Many associate traditional cooking with glass-jar canning. Is there nothing more homely than a glass jar of chutney resting on a shelf in the kitchen. Do not glass jar evoke images of grandmother cooking jam over a huge pot? On continental Europe the practice of canning home-grown produce in glass jars continued well into the 1960’s and 1970’s. In eastern Europe and Russia many did and still do have small gardens where they grow most of their own produce relying …