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melonpan

Is home canning primarily an American thing?

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so ive been wondering about this. putting up jams, tomato sauces, pickles etc into jars for sort of long term storage (mostly to use within a year or so), is this done mostly by americans?

i looked up the wikipedia page on home canning and the uk, australia and germany are mentioned... but these other jars like wecks, kilners, vacolas, etc, are they as plentiful as mason jars and lids seem to be in u.s. grocery stores?

i understand pickles are done everywhere and maybe even sweet jams and jellies are made in many countries, but i am wondering specifically about canning as americans know it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_canning


Edited by melonpan (log)

"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

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The French are great canners. They're very frugal so canning seasonable vegetables & fruits as a way to save money has been popular for a long, long time.

This not to mention things like comfit & rillettes for preserving meats.

Canning jars in a variety of sizes can be purchased in any French supermarket. They're a different design than the American mason jars.

Your post was timely in that a friend brought me 5 pounds of plums yesterday so I'm making plum chutney this afternoon.

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Absolutely Italy, from two perspectives: staple items like canned tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables are put up at the peak of the season, for quality but also out of frugality, but many friends also put up what in context are "specialty" items, often used as gifts. One friend has a huge apricot orchard, and is famous for her apricot preserves, which she serves in her bed and breakfast. Another preserves many things, but grows a type of antique rose that blooms only for a couple of weeks in May and whose petals are used for rose jelly and marmalade to be served with the cheese course (as well as rose-petal risotto!).


Bill Klapp

bklapp@egullet.com

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The whole canning culture came from Europe and while it certainly caught on in America, I don't think the originators gave it up.

The vocabulary and the specific brand of storage vessel may be different. That's all.

(Actually in the UK we are baffled at you calling it "canning". The last utensil you ever seem to use is a can. That is what Heinz do to beans! The joys of language. :unsure: )

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thanks, everyone, for your replies! id actually supposed the canning culture came from europe but i have no idea about canning and preservation today.

i am also curious about whether there is any canning culture in asia. i suppose that it might be less popular the closer you are to the equator. i have no idea if there is access to any type of jars specifically for canning in places like korea, japan or china.

i think its kind of a hard question to ask. in some circles of my friends, canning is seen as something rather obscure and strange. but i have other circles where its definitely celebrated, with friends putting up dozens and dozens of jars. these people tend to be gardeners (esp gardeners), or more foodie types. but i do think that its not exactly a mainstream thing but that might be different now with the younger generation embracing diy processes.

im korean and i dont think ive ever seen any folks of my parents generation put up much. even the hard core korean gardeners didnt use mason jars. they *do* dry/dehydrate like its going out of style, and of course pickles and kimchi is popular.

ill have to ask around. but im guessing that maybe there is no access to canning supplies in modern korea. just a guess. i love canning. id be so happy to learn that many koreans do can today.


"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

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i guess another reason why is that there isnt much jam/jelly culture in korea. and eating pickled green beans, cukes etc etc isnt really their thang, either. kimchi is all, everything.

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"Bibimbap shappdy wappdy wap." - Jinmyo

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Isn't that because of all the quick pickles, melonpan? Kimchi is rather like sauerkraut and takes the investment of time. Also, from what I know of Asian kitchens (which is little, admittedly) storage space is woefully lacking. Do you suppose the limitation on space is a reason? It certainly isn't industry, since Korean food takes a lot of prep.

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i guess another reason why is that there isnt much jam/jelly culture in korea. and eating pickled green beans, cukes etc etc isnt really their thang, either. kimchi is all, everything.

And don't y'all bury things? Kimchi, eggs, etc?


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I know quite a few people in Australia who do preserves but not as many who put up veg. It is too bad that they don't have mason jars here.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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There seems to be far less home canning here in Mexico, at least in urban populations. What little there is tends to be of the open kettle method, using recycled jars with conventional lids rather than the two-piece type. I think the reason is the lack of a hobby culture, which is directly tied in with a lack of free time and disposable income/consumer credit.

I personally do pickled chiles (a whole different product from the commercial kind, believe me), and I remember my great-aunt doing jams and jellies with quince, fig and sour orange, among other fruits. So it's not totally unknown, just a bit unusual.


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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i looked up the wikipedia page on home canning and the uk, australia and germany are mentioned...

In Australia it's still a tradition amongst migrant communities. My in-laws are Italian and they have big vats and stuff in their garage for bottling, mostly tomato sauce. A popular Australian film opens with the daughter of Italian migrants complaining about how she has to help out with the tomato sauce, my wife said she felt exactly the same way!

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(Actually in the UK we are baffled at you calling it "canning". The last utensil you ever seem to use is a can. That is what Heinz do to beans! The joys of language. :unsure: )

Yes...a former wife of mine was British and was always telling me that I wasn't canning a product, I was jarring it. Doesn't sound much better, does it?

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Yes...a former wife of mine was British and was always telling me that I wasn't canning a product, I was jarring it. Doesn't sound much better, does it?

I've never heard it called that in Britain, but although it sounds weird, it is slightly more accurate perhaps!

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I thought Brits called canned items tinned? Instead of jarred, I would think bottled would be a better description.

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My British wife & I aren't sure, but we think preserving is the closest British expression to the American canning.

The British do call items that come tin tins tinned, but that's not usually associated with home preserving. Of course tins are no longer tin either.

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There seems to be far less home canning here in Mexico, at least in urban populations. What little there is tends to be of the open kettle method, using recycled jars with conventional lids rather than the two-piece type. I think the reason is the lack of a hobby culture, which is directly tied in with a lack of free time and disposable income/consumer credit.

I personally do pickled chiles (a whole different product from the commercial kind, believe me), and I remember my great-aunt doing jams and jellies with quince, fig and sour orange, among other fruits. So it's not totally unknown, just a bit unusual.

When I lived in the UK, it seemed like some of it was also that home canning/preserving didn't seem to have taken on quite the same hobby/foodie associations that it's got in the US, so the people who did it were mostly the type of folks who didn't see any point of announcing that they'd done it, or showing off the finished product unless they'd entered a local fair competition or something of that nature. So it happened but didn't get talked about much?

Also, the attitude with regards to food safety recommendations seemed to be quite different - I found lots of recipes from reputable UK sources that would never ever pass the US issued 'how to not kill someone' list of rules. I don't know if that figures in at all?

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There's a difference in parts of the US, as well. In the pacific northwest, everyone is a "canning" fiend. When I moved to urban northern New Jersey I couldn't find mason jars or pectin to save my life. I asked friends there -- all of whom were big cooks -- and none of them had ever even thought of canning anything. An east coast writer -- whose name I can't remember to save my life -- lived in Bellingham, Washington, for a while and said one of the reasons she had to move away was that she couldn't get used to everyone canning things all the time.

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"one of the reasons she had to move away was that she couldn't get used to everyone canning things all the time"

Makes perfect sense. Canning really gets on my nerves too.

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Canning seems as innocous as an activity can get. There's no strong smell or noise involved, and I am not aware of any major belief system forbidding it. What am I missing?


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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"one of the reasons she had to move away was that she couldn't get used to everyone canning things all the time"

Makes perfect sense. Canning really gets on my nerves too.

I wish I could find the book. She was being slightly tongue in cheek, but she did say she felt like there was a big culture/world view of food that involved canning and she wasn't into it and felt left out and slightly frowned upon by the "earth mothers."

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Canning seems as innocous as an activity can get. There's no strong smell or noise involved, and I am not aware of any major belief system forbidding it. What am I missing?

I think it's like any other hobby - people can get really annoying about it. Particularly if it's combined with the whole green/organic/home gardening/farmer's market holier-than-thou thing. (I.e. "Of course I only use my own home canned tomatoes that I grew myself using compost that we made at home.")

It's generally time consuming and messy and physically demanding since you often don't can unless you have a quantity of something, so it just doesn't fit into everyone's lifestyle, but some people seem to think you should MAKE it fit. (Plus, even if you have the time and the space and the energy to do it, there's the food safety aspect - some people may just not want to deal with making sure they do everything properly so the canned stuff is safe. It's not like most of us are in a situation now where we NEED to can in order to have stuff available during the winter, thanks to supermarkets and commercially available products.)

I mean, I quite enjoyed it and I'd do it again, but there are plenty of items that I COULD can where I don't see the point when you can buy something just as good or better, or where canning isn't the preservation method I like. (I don't like canning vegetables in general, for example. I think they're better frozen for preservation, if you have the freezer space. I don't like the canned vegetable texture.)

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The Australians on ForumThermomix do a lot of canning and both Ball and Kerr Mason jars are available, if not at local stores, they are easy to find online.

I have a friend in Finland (lived here for a few years) who cans a lot of fish as well as summer fruits, makes pickles and etc. She lives in a community where most of the women do as she does. They trade back and forth.

I don't know about Asia but I often have conversations with the owner of the local Philippine market and he orders specialty produce for his customers who can fruits, vegetables, sauces and condiments - I got my recipe for banana ketchup from one of the ladies who does a lot of canning. The way he tells it, home canning developed after WWII when many schools began teaching home economics with teachers hired from the U.S. John says that when his mother was a girl, their family housed two American teachers for their local high school and one taught both home economics and bookkeeping - and his mother later became a bookkeeper and was the first female to manage the finances for the family business.

I used to correspond with a chef in South Africa (now retired) who had come across several "pick your own" fruits and etc., where people were offered lessons in home preserving and the jars and canning equipment was sold. He said it had caught on in some of the "semi-rural" suburbs where the women did not work outside the home but apparently it had been a tradition among the farming families for generations. This included some of the wineries that besides their wine grapes, also raised table grapes and had orchards of seasonal fruits & etc.

He wrote that he had met people who held "preserving parties" in December - that doubled as holiday parties - where everyone pitched in to preserve dozens of liters of fruits and then shared them out.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Canning seems as innocous as an activity can get. There's no strong smell or noise involved, and I am not aware of any major belief system forbidding it. What am I missing?

I think it's like any other hobby - people can get really annoying about it. Particularly if it's combined with the whole green/organic/home gardening/farmer's market holier-than-thou thing. (I.e. "Of course I only use my own home canned tomatoes that I grew myself using compost that we made at home.")

It's generally time consuming and messy and physically demanding since you often don't can unless you have a quantity of something, so it just doesn't fit into everyone's lifestyle, but some people seem to think you should MAKE it fit. (Plus, even if you have the time and the space and the energy to do it, there's the food safety aspect - some people may just not want to deal with making sure they do everything properly so the canned stuff is safe. It's not like most of us are in a situation now where we NEED to can in order to have stuff available during the winter, thanks to supermarkets and commercially available products.)

I mean, I quite enjoyed it and I'd do it again, but there are plenty of items that I COULD can where I don't see the point when you can buy something just as good or better, or where canning isn't the preservation method I like. (I don't like canning vegetables in general, for example. I think they're better frozen for preservation, if you have the freezer space. I don't like the canned vegetable texture.)

Wait, you mean canning doesn't suck the organic right out of food?

I understand not "getting" an interest or even thinking it's kinda stupid and probably symptomatic of moral depravity or something -that's how I feel about RAH RAH HOMETOWN SPORTS TEAM- but, really, canning? If you hate thise annoying granola canning people, you'd presumably avoid them because they're annoying, not because they're into canning. I think.


This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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