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Cook Good Food Class – Preserving food

Another successful, resourceful and, of course, flavorful Bi-Rite Good Food Class this month!

The discussion focuJarssed on food preservation. Food preservation has been a common practice throughout cultures and generations, marking a milestone in human history. We no longer needed to consume food immediately after harvesting or killing but could start setting roots in one place and create a community.  Many preservation techniques exist such as drying, freezing, fermenting, pickling, curing, jam and canning. We got the chance to assist Lorena in making three different preparations: BBQ sauce, tomato chutney and pickled Padron peppers!

Crushing tomatoesBBQ sauce

BBQ sauce is basically a mix of vinegar, tomato paste, sweetener (sugar and/or molasses) and mix of spices. Don’t be afraid to improvise! After preparing a quality base of BBQ sauce, you can customize each jar to your liking. The spices we added into our individual containers included everything from Umami, cocoa powder, chili flakes and cinnamon. You can try our very own Bi-Rite BBQ sauce when ordering our new Triple Rack O’ Ribs Kit, including coleslaw, corn on the cob and three racks of juicy smoked ribs. It’s a perfect option for a hassle-free BBQ experience with some friends and family!

Chutney 

Ketchup was originally oriental fish brine, which travelled across the spice route and eventually arrived in America, where someone decided to add some sugar. Chutney derived from ketchup and is an Indian condiment, which can be made with fruits and/or vegetables with vinegar, spices and sugar.  The pot used to cook makes a surprising difference in taste! We followed the same recipe but used three different pots: a slow cooker (for a thicker texture), aluminum pot and a cast iron pot (for a fuller and complex taste).

Pickled Padron pePan-fried padronppers

Pickling is preserving foods in vinegar or other types of acids. We simply pan fried some Padron peppers and added them into a vinegar-based mixture, where Lorena added garlic cloves, black peppercorn and some sugar. These peppers are great with fish for a sour twist or simply as a snack as they’re just that tasty!

Tip for sealing: You don’t need to properly seal your jars if you have space in your fridge! Cold temperature, as mentioned previously, is another good way to preserve food.

Once again, thanks Lorena! Can’t wait to find out what the next theme will be.