For thousands of years people did learn the way to preserve food in a manner or another. In fact it is a matter of survival and finding the solution to keep what we have for longer because we have to cope with seasonality, a particurlar weather or environment.
The creation of the artificial refrigeration only dates from 1755 by a Scottish man called Cullen. The creator solved an harsh problem for many. How to keep food for longer? For food is the fuel of anybody, everybody, any creatures upon this earth, we just need to eat to carry on, it is as simple as that. And there I can't do my best Barry Gibbs voice but I will share to you my thinking about preserving it is all about staying alive:
Back in the days and still nowadays to burry food under ground during the cold months is a practice of preserving food for longer. Creating cold cooling caves, pantries, surrounded by thick walls, sometimes under aquaducts is a tradition, a method of preserving amongst many. To mention a fair few, Pickling, Boiling, Curing, making Preserves, Jams and Jellies, Chutneys, Smoking food or Freezing it are our methods to keep our food for longer.
Home Made Jam, Apricots, Peach and Nectarine, a good mix if I may say.
But doing so, we discovered something important: it can not only last, but it can gives food more flavours. Tenderising or drying the food, those preserving processes can enhance how something tastes like.
I can mention there a lot of food we do preserve in one way or another: the list will almost be endless: Smoked Salmon, Cured Bacon, Pickled Gherkins, Green Tomatoes Chutney, Blackberry Jam, Jellied Eels, Rollmops, Escabeche Mackerels, Kimchi, Sauerkraut, Ice Cream...
Little Home Made redcurrants Jelly/Compote from the Garden.
Stopping there I will just add the tin can method which helped many of us throughout our days which we do owe to a Frenchman called de Girard 1810 and the Englisman Peter Durand 1812 who rendered the patent possible for it. Now I will confess that although I do grow my own tomatoes (But usually fancy ones), I do own a fair few tins of plum tomates or chopped tomatoes for the convenience of it.
Chopped Tomatoes Tins, ever so useful.
However I will say that I find drying a nice and easy method to preserve either my Chillies, Peppers, or Tomatoes. For my Chillies, drying them thoroughly to use them all year round is working for me. For the Chillies I like to infuse oil with it to make Chilli Oil, which is awesomely nice to drizzle on whatever dish you want to do. Let us just say, Pasta, Pizza, Meat or Fish or Veg. It has a good versatility. Drying works well with Chillies.
Drying Chillies, it is making a harvest last longer. I tend to dry one quarter of each batch of Chillies. It is so handy.
Home Made Chilli Oil. Useful to impart Flavour on many things.
However with a large batch/harvest of Chillies, it is useful to have a freezer or more than one. Then you can sort out your Chillies by varieties and just pick the couple of Chillies to defrost when you want to for a particular dish.
We do grow a lot of different varieties of Chillies and it is nice to preserve them in their distinctive sort. One Chilli obviously is different in heat from another, therefore it is crucial to store them independantly.
Make sure you label everything correctly so when you want Padrons for a recipe you don't pick by mistake a Scotch Bonnet one. Hence classification before freezing is important.
For Sweet Peppers I roast them and keep them in jars with olive oil. They are convenient to use for plenty of purposes to enhance a dish in the Meditteranean style.
Roasted Romanesco Red Peppers from the Garden preserved in Olive Oil, along with Rosemary and Sliced garlic. May I say it was a little jar of pure joy.
As for Dried Tomatoes, or Sun dried Tomatoes, or roasted Tomatoes then kept in a nice oil and seasoning in a jars, I could sing Mamma Mia here I go again. They are simply one pantry items I will never go without. It is for me almost the B-A-B-A to makes Italian dishes swing to the tune of it is Amore.
Then there is a preserving method which is Jams and Jellies... And there again, the memories of plunging a spoon in a pot of Jam and being caught out... The excuses of it is too good to be true. But then the answer can be we will not have Strawberries until next year. So the Damn is coming hence this is why it is very good to preserve.
Plums and Cinnamon Home Made Jam.
I have a little weakness for any Cranberries or Redcurrants Jellies. They are so festive. They can make you sing along to any leftovers to any Christmas songs.
Cranberries, a sweet sharp treat which means we are in the Festive Season.
However I must mention Chutneys. They are tiggling your palate so much that it is Rock and Roll Baby. In my humble opinion they are not only something to learn to do but also to share as gifts to your friends so they do enjoy themselves with something a tiny different. A good Chutney can be unusual but the life of the party at the same time. It is always something to consider Taste Buds wise.
Tomatoes, Chillies and Red Peppers Chutney made from the veg of our Garden. It was a kicking tiggling party in our mouths.
A good Chutney don't beat around the bush. It is a joy to have in your fridge or pantry.