Nowadays, we don’t even have to think twice about how to store our food. It’s easy to throw things in the fridge, safe in the knowledge that the cool temperatures will help to preserve our tasty treats. But back in the olden days, people had to resort to different methods to prevent their food from spoiling.
1. Root cellars
The root cellar was basically a more primitive version of a refrigerator. It was a little cave or store where food could be kept reasonably cool, helping it last longer.
Still used to this day, pickling is the practice of putting things in jars filled with vinegar. The vinegar helps the food to stay fresh for longer and it works with many different vegetables. The only problem is that the food used in pickles will take on a strong vinegary flavor over time.
3. Boxes of ice
The old-fashioned version of a freezer was basically a box of ice suspended above a storage area. This device was invented back in the 1800s and had to be regularly topped up with fresh ice.
Jams and jellies, also known as preserves, will last for a long time. This is a great way for people to make use of any extra fruit they have lying around.
Jugging is a way of preserving meat in a kind of stew. Gravy and red wine are often included in the mixture for extra tastiness, and jugging has been around for centuries.
Just like with salt, it’s actually possible to extend the life of certain foods by storing them in sugar.
Many fruits, vegetables, and even meats can be preserved in large mounds of salt.
Drying helps to preserve food by removing all trace of moisture. Naturally, if there is no water, it becomes impossible for bacteria and mould to grow.
To cure meat, you need to leave it in salt for a while and then let it cool for a little while. After that, you roll it up tightly in a cloth. This process helps the meat last much longer as well as giving it a stronger flavor.
Smoking is a bonus way of extending the life of meat even further. First, the meat is cured as normal, but instead of wrapping it up straight away, you smoke it first.
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