The Preserve of Greatness with Moro
The use of oils and vinegars goes beyond cooking and dressing. With Moro’s range of quality condiments, extending the life of your favourite ingredients through preserving or pickling has never been simpler – or tastier.
For millennia, especially pre-refrigeration or during periods of hardship, humans have sought to make our foodstuffs last as long as possible. Whether through smoke, salt, or other means – particularly the use of oils and vinegars – preserving and pickling food are long-standing practices that have helped untold generations face harsh winters or uncertain seasons with larders stocked.
Ancient civilisations, notably the Romans, were well practiced in the preservation of food, particularly through the use of olive oil. Today, however, preserves are more about creating flavours than survival. From feta cheese to eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes and all manner of herbs, preserving ingredients in oil is simple when done properly – and delicious.
SHOP MORO OLIVE OIL & VINEGARS
Sealed from the air by the coating of oil, the food is isolated from oxygen, inhibiting the growth of aerobic bacteria, mould, and most potentially harmful micro-organisms. To avoid the conditions that lead to the bacteria responsible for botulism in particular, it is essential to use properly sterilised jars, and to prepare the ingredients appropriately before preserving.
Moro’s range of olive oils are perfect for the task. For more delicately flavoured foods, like fish, we recommend Moro Tradicional Olive Oil, so that the olive flavours do not dominate what you’re looking to preserve. For more strongly-flavoured items – garlic, for instance – opt for the more forward flavours of Moro Primero Extra Virgin Olive, as the oil will contribute lovely fruity notes with a peppery touch.
Whatever you’re preserving, make sure it’s completely coated in oil in your sterilised jar. Add a tablespoon of sea salt for every 500ml, or, if you’re planning on preserving items for an extended period, some acid such as lemon juice or a touch of vinegar. The addition of such acids helps keep the pH level below 4.6, to better prevent those harmful organisms from developing and potentially causing illness.
Be mindful that some items need baking first – tomatoes, for instance – and take care to eliminate any air bubbles from your preparation. In the case of herbs and veggies, wash and ensure that they are properly dried (almost to crispness) and completely free of any residual water – never place herbs and such in oil wet.
QUITE THE PICKLE
Like preserving, the art of pickling has a long established history. The most readily accessible way for most people to pickle their food is through the use of vinegar, the practice of which dates back to antiquity – even to the origins of vinegar itself in ancient Babylon.
Foods that can be pickled in this way include (but are not limited to) onions, garlic, cauliflower, pears, peaches, figs, and of course cucumber and gherkins. Add to the delicious flavour possibilities the attested health benefits of vinegar consumption and you have a powerful, flexible addition to your culinary repertoire!
Again, Moro has you covered for your pickling needs with its range of vinegars, particularly Moro White Wine Vinegar and Moro Red Wine Vinegar – the former for use with lighter-flavoured foods or to preserve their natural colours, and the latter with more pungent or flavour-forward ingredients.
Pickling with vinegar is fast and fuss-free, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Clean, peel and slice or dice your desired ingredients. Combine water, salt, and vinegar, and bring it all to a boil – the best salt to use is pickling salt, sometimes known as canning salt. For the water, distilled or filtered is ideally best.
Then, place your vinegar solution into a sterilised jar and immerse your veggies in it, topping with more solution. For added preservation potential, you could brine the vegetables and drain them, before boiling them in the vinegar solution before jarring. Let cool, and refrigerate. That’s all there is to it!
Whether you’re looking for an added layer of crunch and flavour for your burger, a sweet and sour kick for a rice dish, or a mouth-pleasing pop for a salad, a basic understanding of pickles and preserves goes a long way. And the best ingredients to have at hand for such purposes are Moro’s range of oils and vinegars – true pantry essentials for all aspiring home chefs. Why not get the jump on the colder months today and start your pickling journey with Moro?