It’s so lovely to open one cold winter evening a jar of tasty pickles you made yourself! For example, a bottle of peach compote or your favourite marinated tomatoes. It goes without saying that pickled vegetables and fruit are the tastiest when made at home, besides I think it is more useful because cooking for close people you always try to put the best ingredients of high quality.
Now I would like to tell you about the history of conservation.
Nicolas Appert, the outstanding French inventor and chef, was the first who invented airtight food preservation in 1795. The “father of canning” and confectioner by birth was born and grew up in Champagne, one of the most beautiful and historic province in France, very famous nowadays for its sparkling white wine, in 1949. He had been working for 11 years (1784-1785) as a confectioner and chef in Paris. All the time he was trying to carry out preserving juices, jams, jellies, vegetables, fruit and soup tests. As his grew up in Champagne, the first devise he used for preservation was the usual empty Champagne bottle. He simply filled some bottles with jam or meat-broth. Then he sealed it hermetically with corks and boiled during several hours. The only problem he faced was bad pressure resistance caused by cork and bottle glass coupling. Even after eight months the canned food-stuffs taste remained gorgeous. Inspirited with his success Nicolas Appert built the first world food bottling factory, in Massy, the town situated not far from Paris. Napoleon found Appert’s invention to his linking and decided to include it into his soldiers’ everyday ration.
Main information about pickles
Any tightly canned and hermetically corked by means of thermal influence food can be called pickles.
Nowadays tinned food becomes more popular in everyday nourishment because people are very busy with their work and try not to spend much time on cooking. With increasing of outputs the work improving food quality and expansion of canned product is constantly held. The more the level of our country development is, the more they use tinned product in it. I think that all over the world there is certain producing and consumption food contest.
Countryside people eat less pickling than city dwellers. Some people consider canned food the most important part of their everyday nourishment. That is why such kind of food should be nutrient enough containing proteins, fats, carbohydrates. Biological value of tinned product is defined by presence of irreplaceable amino acids, vitamins and microcells in it. During the whole pickling process all flavouring aroma substances, dye-stuffs and other physiologically active components should be preserved. The technological process should be held not only to see the difference between tinned stuff producing from different fish but to feel the product’s uncommon features.
Under pickling we understand food – stuffs treatment to prevent its further spoiling.
The easiest conservation methods and pickling recipes (drying, picking, using of natural cold) are well known since the ancient times. At the beginning of XIX century there began to appear modern interpretation canned food in hermetically packed and sterilized containers.
Why do we need to tin food?
Because of microorganisms activity there is always a risk of spoiling during the food raw materials storage . As a result of it new, more simple substances begin to appear. They are very unpleasant to smell and taste and in addition to all some of them are poisonous. When the process of amino acid disintegration starts, some extremely toxic indoles begin to form. Most of microorganisms are not so strong to destroy substances but they promote further toxins development. The presence of toxins in food makes it dangerous for human’s health.
The aim of pickling is to cease microorganisms activity, inactivate fermental system and to prevent undesirable product changes.
It’s necessary to pickle exclusively fresh vegetables. There a lot of pickling methods and it’s up to you what method to choose but you have to know definitely that some methods can be nit suitable to certain products. It depends on raw materials properties, and also the purpose of ready – made pickling product. However, in all cases it is of main importance not only to preserve food but to get useful nourishing provisions of high quality.
Because of relatively high, fish goods profitability and also, flavoring advantage improving possibility of initial raw stuff, pickled fish production has become one of the main spheres of seafood usage.
Some important rules about conservation
1. It’ s necessary to find the right package for canned food.
They usually use glass container to preserve fruit and vegetables in domestic conditions. Some food can be canned in bottles or barrels, but in that case it’s difficult to provide package tightness.
The conservation glass container must be without any cracks and completely intact. The glass container intact can be determined by slight percussion with pen or pencil. In case of imperceptible crack the sound will be deaf and jingling. It is also necessary to be careful not to miss the nimbus or ledge chip on the bottle’s neck.
All the bottles and pots should be carefully washed. Before the usage they must be put into soda solution for half an hour. After the soaking all containers are rinsed with cold water and washed with soap and wisp or lamp-chimney brush. Bottles and pots are rinsed (preferably with hot water) for the second and put with neck down for the water flowing.
Before the jars are filled with ready food they should be sterilized with ferry. It will be more convenient to sterilize 0, 5- 1 l jars using capacity that is a little larger in diameter than the jar itself. Also the large stew – pan with a special circle cover empty in the middle can be used for sterilization.
2. The main pickling requirements
There are several methods of the food-stuffs conservation: drying, pickling, fermentation, cooling, freezing, sterilization and cooking with sugar.
Drying is one of the most famous ways of the food-stuffs preservation. It consists in almost full product humidity removal.
Pickling and fermentation conservation of vegetables is based on milk acid and sodium chloride (salt) preserving effect. Salt considerably reduces the undesirable bacteria development and provides the activity of lactic bacteria forming milk acid. During the soaking they add sugar to product to provide fast milk acid accumulation but without adding salt. The optimum lactic bacteria development temperature is 15-22 degrees.
The fresh fruit and vegetables conservation with the help of acetic acid is called pickling.
Fresh berries and fruit can be preserved in the sugar high-concentrated solutions (jam, jelly). The sugar preserving effect is shown in jam if its concentration is not less than 60-65 % and 75-80% in candied fruit. If the sugar concentration is lower, canned product should be sterilized or pasteurized with the further hermetic sealing.
The food-stuffs freezing till 0 degrees temperature provides their long term safety. However the most part of microorganisms is resistant even to lower temperatures action.
It will be enough to bring the preserved product temperature to -18 degrees to create auspicious conditions for the microorganisms development and activity, to stop enzymes activity, and consequently to suspend some changes in the food-stuffs substances. By such a temperature the product quality doesn’t change for a long time. The frozen fruit and vegetables nutrition value, to be exactly their carbohydrates, proteins and mineral substances content, remains practically unchangeable. Even the less stable vitamin C is quite steady in quickly defrosted fruit and vegetables.
3. Food products washing and packing
All food-stuffs must be washed carefully with cold flowing water before pickling. In cases of very dirty products (for example, root-crops) they soak it in advance, and only after wash. After the washing it is obligatory to let the water flow down, and in special pickling cases, it is even necessary dry vegetables and fruit from water. All the jars should be washed carefully with hot water and treated with steam and boiling water before packing. If you are going to fill the jars and bottles with jam, dry it well in stove before filling and avoid its pollution. Tinned food can be mildewed if being packed into wet jars.
All prepared food is packed up or stacked. It is not recommended to stack fruit of light colours with intensive colouring one (cherries and apples, cherries and apricots and so on) because of picking unattractive look.
In case of making compotes or marinades all fruit and vegetables packed in jars or bottles are necessary to be flooded with hot sugar syrup, pickling or tomato marinade (85-90 degrees temperature).
It is recommended to fill the containers up to the top (except special recipes cases). If the whole container volume is not completely filled it is left the air containing 21% oxygen in its upper part and it has harmful effects for many substances that is the part of tinned product (they quickly lose valuable properties). That’s why fruit packing has to be absolutely compact, but at the same moment not that too because can be easily crumpled.
4. Pickling hermetic package and freezing
After the sterilization and pasteurization all glass jars should be extracted carefully not to open the cover and immediately hermetically packed with the help of sealing -machine.
It’s convenient to use special tongs for the extracting from the sterilizer. If you don’t have tongs it is possible to use clean towel.
Cooling. When the process of sterilization or pasteurization and hermetic sealing is over they usually cool all the jars and bottles in the air.
Some kinds of tins or pickles (apricot compote, pickled or marinated cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, mashed pears and quinces) should be always cooled as soon as possible after the sterilization and sealing not to soften food-stuffs and not to lose its natural colour.
In such a case all the jars should be put in fresh air (in the yard) or in the cold lumber room, but without any draught.
After the hermetic sealing is over you can put the jars upside-down into the hot water containers, where the sterilization was taken place, and then add gradually into hot water some cold one to make the jars contents temperature lower to 35-40 degrees, and at the end finally cool canned food in the open air.
All the pickles should be stored in the place with the temperature not higher than 20 degrees. It is not recommended pickles are tested by sharp temperature over falls or changes.
In case of sharp temperature changes it will be much humidity inside the canned fruit jars with high sugar quantity (jam) as a result of it the food- stuffs begin to grow musty.
It is necessary to smear pickles covers intended for the long storage with vaseline.
All the canned food should be stored in the dark places without any direct sunbeams. It is not allowed to store it in the high humidity places to prevent jar covers corrosion.
Canned stone-berries and fruit are not recommended to store more than one year to avoid berries and juice harmful substances transmissions, containing in the stones kernels.
Pickled mushrooms also can’t be stored more than one year.