Preserve

did you know?

1 in 5 US households canned foods in 2004

Curing adds flavors and preserves food, typically meat or fish, through the addition of a combination of salt, sugar, nitrates or nitrites. Smoking preserves food by cooking it in the presence of smoke, and usually, salt. The absorbed smoke acts as a preservative.

Salt

  • Dehydrates the meat/fish
  • Prevents harmful bacteria 
  • Encourages good bacteria 
  • Slows down oxidation 
  • Prevents rancidity

Sugar

  • Balances strong flavor of salt
  • Does not add much to flavor
  • Can be used in many forms
  • Encourages good bacteria

Nitrates and Nitrites

  • Provide flavor, color and stability 
  • Protect against botulism-producing organisms
  • Stabilize the cured meat's flavor 
  • Require caution: excessive amounts can be toxic