Food preservation is a technique that has been around since the 1800’s and still has a place in the modern restaurant and home kitchen.
Not only is it a way to ensure you use all our leftover ingredients, it’s also a great way to add flavour to a range of different dishes.
We sat down with Scott Bridger, Electrolux Ambassador and Executive Chef of Bib & Tucker, to chat all things preservation.
1. What are your favourite food preservation techniques?
Fermentation is my favourite preservation technique. I learnt it out of necessity when I worked on private yachts as sometimes fresh produce was not always available to us – making preservation essential.
2. Can you walk us through the process of your favourite technique?
Fermentation comes in many forms, but essentially it involves adding a small amount of salt to a vegetable. Once it releases its own natural juice, the vegetable forms lactic acid that preserves it and enhances vitamins and minerals. It also helps to intensify flavours, and at the end of the day, that’s the main thing!
3. Do you have preferred food preservation techniques for different foods?
There are different ways for preserving fruit, vegetables and drinks. We tend to use more advanced methods of fermentation for balancing a dish or adding depth of flavour to cooking. It really depends on how much time you have and the produce you have access to.
4. Why is food preservation an important at-home skill?
Preservation was created because of abundance - when we have too much of a particular fruit or vegetable it’s important not to waste it, but to preserve it for the seasons when it’s not available.
5. What are the most common mistakes made by preservation amateurs?
Not making enough! Preserved foods last for a long time, so make double and give some to your friends and neighbours.
6. How has food preservation shaped the cooking industry we know today?
Although food preservation has always been present in kitchens in some form, the level of complexity and interest in it has grown. These days, our customers understand what fermentation and preservation are about. They’re aware that it allows us to add interesting flavours and textures to dishes to create balance.
7. Can you share 2x recipes that involved at home food preservation?
Here are two of my favourites:
- Brussel sprout kraut - extremely tasty and a good tongue twister
- Pickled Rhubarb - A great pickle that goes well with Pork, duck or on a cheese platter.
To find out more about Scott Bridger's recipes, read on below.