The desire to preserve food is ancient; laying up potatoes in a’clamp’ of earth to last through until spring, bottling vegetables, turning fruits into jams, layering carrots in sand. There are all kinds of ways of preserving summer bounty when it comes to fruit and veg.
Today of course the freezer does all the work, it’s efficient even if it does take away some of the structure and texture of the produce, but it does a great job with meat.
Before freezers though, we didn’t go to iceland we salted, we smoked and we cured meats and the best bit was that these processes didn’t just preserve they added fantastic flavours too.
So how do you go about salting, smoking and curing your own meat and do you have to wear biker boots and have a beard and tattoos? No you don’t and you don’t need a curious name either, although Turan T Turan certainly does.
Turan has been at the game for ten years or more and he certainly knows what he’s doing. If you’ve got a yen to preserve then this is the book for you.
From serious safety and hygiene warnings, you are after all dealing with raw produce, to how to knock together smoking equipment cheaply and simply, the book has all you need. All techniques are explained; the’why’ as well as the’how’, because knowing the chemistry that’s occurring helps take in the methods more fully.
Turan is happy to use modern aids; vacuum sealer machines take a lot of the hit and miss out of drying as do dry-aging bags – semi permeable bags that let the air do its work but hold back bacteria. Although if you happen to have a cellar, even better.
And who wouldn’t want to make their own bacon, salami, smoked salmon, salt cod, kippers hot-smoked chicken wings and chorizo? Ok some things are a bit harder than others but some are ridiculously easy – all you need is a fair bit of space in your fridge and preserving ingredients, such as the mysterious’Prague Powder’, all easily available on-line.
It’s one of those books that inspire you to get out and have a go – a mixture of cookery, time and science that combines to create things to treasure. Heaven preserve us!