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ChefCrash

Grape Leaves. How to store.

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Preserving Grape Leaves

Prepare a 12% brine (118 grams salt/ liter of water). Bring to a boil.

Roll stacks of 10 to 15 freshly picked grape leave into a cigar shape and tightly stuff into a jar. Add hot brine and seal.

gallery_39290_6234_14549.jpg

In a few weeks they'd look like the jar on the left.

On the right, is a P.E.T. bottle filled with grape leaves, rolled the same way, inserted through the bottle opening and stuffed into the bottle using the back end of a wooden spoon, then sealed with the bottle cap. They both look the same (in color anyway).

What's the difference!? NO BRINE. The bottle on the right is Two years old. It has been kept at room temperature since it was shipped to us from Lebanon. Instructions: Once cut open, must be refrigerated.

gallery_39290_6234_7846.jpg

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So how were the grape leaves processed in Lebanon? Were they 'cooked' or pickled first?  What's preserving them?

No processing, or cooking. They're picked and packed dry in clean P.E.T. bottles and sealed. Stored at room temperature.

I don't know how it works. Perhaps someone can chime in.

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My guess is that the leaves are acidic enough to stave off most untoward growth. I have a few bottles like that in my own pantry, and it's how my friends and family have transported grape leaves from the Middle East since I was a child.

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Preserving Grape Leaves

Prepare a 12% brine (118 grams salt/ liter of water). Bring to a boil.

Roll stacks of 10 to 15 freshly picked grape leave into a cigar shape and tightly stuff into  a jar. Add hot brine and seal.

gallery_39290_6234_14549.jpg

In a  few weeks they'd look like the jar on the left.

On the right, is a P.E.T. bottle filled with grape leaves, rolled the same way, inserted through the bottle opening and stuffed into the bottle using the back end of a wooden spoon, then sealed with the bottle cap. They both look the same (in color anyway).

What's the difference!? NO BRINE. The bottle on the right is Two years old. It has been kept at room temperature since it was shipped to us from Lebanon. Instructions: Once cut open, must be refrigerated.

gallery_39290_6234_7846.jpg

Another method is to stack them with a bit of salt between the leaves to keep the leaves from sticking to one another and storing them in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer. I have not tried this method but it seems very easy and the leaves don't have to be boiled to soften them before use, as they will be soft enough after defrosting. In addition, the leaves can also be dried, like peppers in the sun


Cheers, Sarah

http://sarahmelamed.com/

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