Resources: When and How to Preserve Food

| 1/19/2012 3:53:05 PM

Our March/April 2012 issue featured an inspiring essay by Joel Salatin about how his family enjoys a diet based on the changing seasons, including preserving foods during their most abundant season so they can enjoy them later. If you've gotten jazzed about eating this way, it's time to bring in reinforcements. Here’s a roundup of great tips and resources for planning all your food preservation duties in advance. Farmers Market  

The Many Methods of Making Food Last 

There are so many lovely ways to keep food around longer, some easier than others, and here's a list of the major techniques  in my favorite order!

1. Fermenting 

With the science of fermentation, you can "control spoilage." In other words, the foods you preserve this way will still spoil or age, but they'll do so with friendly rather than nasty bacteria, yeast, mold, etc. This family of preserved foods includes many of the world's greatest culinary treasures: beer, bread, cheese, chocolate, coffee, wine and a whole host of cured meats, to name but a few.

2. Root Cellaring 

The practice of "putting food by" often includes simple storage ideas. Many foods will last weeks or months if kept in a cool, dark spot. You can build a fancy ventilated root cellar if you've got the space, time and inclination, but a corner of your garage or basement will probably do nicely.