Preserving Methods

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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! ūüėČ
  • 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!



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