Vodka as a preservative
Posted 25 October 2005 - 02:15 PM
Posted 25 October 2005 - 05:39 PM
From a food safety prespective this makes perfect sense - alcohol kills bacteria, fungi and other biological agents that cause spoilage and food borne illness. This is why why scientific specimens are kept in alcohol.
Alcohol is a perfectly edible disinfectant - unlike say formaldahyde which is also used to preserve scientific specimens but is horribly smelling and is a carcinogen.
I have used this for serving some food raw or undercooked where otherwise there may be a food safety issue.
Splashing it on the surface will of course only kill surface germs. however, in many cases that is all you care about.
Cooking will evaporate the alcohol when you finally go to use the products, although in most cases it will evaporate enough without heating.
So, this seems like a great technique to me. Makes me wonder why it isn't used more often...
Posted 26 October 2005 - 10:57 AM
I've tried strawberries and didn't like the resulting texture; they get soft and mushy (but they don't get moldy). Blueberries do absorb some alcohol, but they remain round and firm. Cooking the berries drives off the alcohol. Using them raw either doesn't matter (as in a fruit tart) or even on cold cereal, the amount of alcohol is negligible. I've also used vodka to film little plastic containers of homemade glace de viande and demi glace, which keep indefinitely in the fridge.
Do the blueberries not absorb some of the alcohol? could you do the same for strawberries or raspberries?
Posted 26 October 2005 - 11:00 AM
Thanks for the tip
Posted 26 October 2005 - 11:19 AM
I don't measure, but I would guess it's a tablespoon or two. Just enough to "wet" the berries. I use either a baggie or a tupperware-style sealable bin just large enough to hold the berries, then I turn the container upside down or gently slosh it about to get the vodka to coat all the berries.
JayBassin -- how much do you consider a splash, are we saying a tablespoon or literally a splash? I have some berries in the fridge that I'm worried will get moldy and would like to try this on.
Thanks for the tip
It's IMPORTANT that the berries (or other food product) is DRY before adding the vodka. Any water or juice will just dilute the alcohol and render it less effective.
Posted 26 October 2005 - 12:01 PM
Posted 26 October 2005 - 12:13 PM
Posted 26 October 2005 - 12:24 PM
Amen, brother. New meaning to the phrase "cooking with spirit."
Vodka has helped to preserve my last nerve on many occasions. I'll have to try some of the other applications.
Edited by JayBassin, 26 October 2005 - 12:26 PM.