[Sca-cooks] Pickles (was Re: Weird food)
dragon at crimson-dragon.com
Fri Jul 18 11:43:50 PDT 2008
Laureen Hart wrote:
>If there was lots and it wasn't likely to be eaten quick enough mom would
>pickle it or freeze it. Mom always said pickling everything was a
>I suspect it was also a "not much money" thing.
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I think it is more accurate to say it is a
People salted, pickled, dried, smoked and otherwise preserved foods
so they would have them out of season and through the winter. About
the only places this did not happen are in areas where salt was not
easily obtained or in hunter/gatherer societies.
Pickles aren't just cucumbers, that is a rather American mind set.
You can pickle just about anything. Look at the gigantic variety of
pickled vegetables in Asian cultures, India, Russia and just about
any place you can think of that has ready access to large quantities of salt.
I am trying to find the details but I once read an account of how one
war during the Shogunate period in Japan was actually cut short by
one side cutting off the supply of salt to the other. Without the
flow of salt from the seashore to the inland province, the farmers
could not preserve enough food for the winter and would suffer famine.
We take salt for granted these days in the industrialized world. It
is ubiquitous and cheap (it was not always so, sometimes it was a
very dear commodity) and many of its uses in food preservation have
gone by the way side in our modern society. Which is a shame in my
opinion because many of the foods that were once preserved through
pickling and salting were quite delicious in their own right. The
developing world still maintains many of these traditions because
they have to in order to survive.
I once served pickled figs at a dinner. They were looked at with much
suspicion by many of the diners but those who were daring enough to
try them generally liked them. I had the advantage of all of my
guests being personal friends who were familiar with my culinary
skills and who generally have a slight bit more adventurousness than
the average Joe or Jane. Out of the 20 people there, I think all but
about two tried them and the majority thought they were "strange but
Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)
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