The Flavor of the Month for August is Preservation. There is such a bounty of fresh produce in the summer, so finding ways to preserve it is always on my mind. I thought it would be useful to kick things off with a summary of the preservation methods I’m thinking about using.
- Salt- I think we’re all familiar with salt-cured foods. This is probably the oldest method of preservation, used long before we knew about refrigeration. Foods you’ll most commonly see salt-cured are meats and fish. However, things like egg yolks are also preserved this way.
- Sugar- If you’ve ever made jam or fruit syrup, you know what a great preservative sugar can be….a tasty one too! 😉
- Vinegars- We’ve all had cucumber pickles, which are made in a vinegar pickling solution. Along with vinegar, sugar, salt, and sometimes herbs and spices are added to the pickling liquid to impart flavor on all kinds of things, like blueberries. It’s amazing how many flavors you can create using different vinegars and spices, or even a different kind of salt!
- Canning- This involves putting your food in jars and boiling them in a water bath to create an airtight seal. Foods preserved this way often last up to a year!
- Freezing- I really like this method in the summer for saving berries. This will keep things preserved three to six month.
- Dehydrating- Interestingly enough, you don’t need a food dehydrator to do this method, it can be done in your oven. This method preserves food the longest, sometimes up to five years! Smoking is also another form of dehydration.
- Fermentation- From kimchi to beer, many cultures have used this method of preservation for centuries. Using yeasts or bacteria, things are fermented into all kinds of tasty foods!
While I probably won’t use all of these methods this month, I’m excited to share recipes using some of them. Stay tuned!