Let me talk about Food preservation.
It is well known that we cannot live without food, as well as water and salt.
When people had to eat out all the food they gained, there was no need to think about food preservation. But gradually they began to stock food to prepare for the time they cannot gain any.
The beginning of Food preservation.
How to preserve foods
Before the invention of the refrigerator, foods should be preserved only in six ways mentioned below:
We can preserve foods from deteriorating by drying them. Because bacteria cannot live without water. This fact makes us recognise that bacteria are also living things. It is also known that drying makes foods more nutritious and rich in Umami.
In Japan, dried foods are widely used in our daily cooking, such as dried bonito (Katsuo-bushi), small dried sardines, Konbu.
We can preserve foods from deteriorating by smoking them. One main reason is that phenol in smoke serves as an antiseptic.
In Japan, smoking is used for making dried bonito (Katsuo-bushi).
3) Wrap with leaves:
We can preserve foods from deteriorating by wrapping them with leaves. Because the polyphenol contained in the leaf has an antibacterial effect.
In Japan, some kinds of Sushi are wrapped with a leaf. The aroma of the leaf stimulates our appetite.
4) Sprinkle ash:
We can preserve foods from deteriorating by sprinkling ash. Because the strong alkalinity of ash prevents bacteria from thriving.
In Japan, seaweed called Naruto Wakame is made by sprinkling ash and drying. It keeps its color and texture for more than one year.
We can preserve foods from deteriorating by salting them. Because the osmotic pressure of salt is high and bacteria cannot live in the salty place. But this rule doesn’t hold true for good bacteria. As I mentioned in the page of Japanese salt and fermentation, this mechanism is widely used in fermentation.
We can preserve foods from deteriorating by fermenting them. Because good bacteria produce peptides and a special amino acid which keeps away other bacteria.
Maybe you have wisely guessed.
I’d like to talk much about fermentation and fermented foods on this Website.
As I’ve mentioned above, fermentation is closely related with salt and fermentation is the best way to preserve salt itself which was very precious in those days.