Meat and fish preservation in thick salt!

Once upon a time, when  the electric current and the refrigerator were in the realm of imagination, the need of man to keep his food products edible for as long as possible,  invented the method of their preservation with the use of salt.

Salt is used as a preservative for food since antiquity. It is applied more often  to meat and fish in order to absorb their moisture, and by reducing the growth of microorganisms this way, it makes the final products suitable for future use. Salt protects food from bacteria, fungi and spoilage and what it actually does is to dry the food by absorbing the existing water, making the environment  too dry for microorganisms to survive and make alterations.

Salt absorbs water from the living cells by the osmotic process (osmosis) and according to this fact adding large amounts of salt, requires the cell to lose water and it is impossible to remain alive and reproduce itself. A salt concentration of 20% of the total weight of fresh food can kill the unwanted bacteria, while lower concentrations can  inhibit microbial reproduction until salinity is reduced again.

The salting process is made meticulously and only with thick salt, which dissolves slowly but also penetrates deeper into the tissues of meat and fish. The meat must be fresh, cut into pieces and in excellent condition, as the fish must be fresh, gutted and washed. The process of salting always takes place in low temperature days because the heat accelerates the degradation of meat and fish.

The meat is alternately marinated in a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic and cinnamon or in a mixture of vinegar with garlic and pepper before salting. It is then placed in a container together with  thick salt so that all the surfaces of its pieces are covered from it and stored in a dark and airy place. It is ready for consumption for up to 2 years after the salting date with this method of preservation. Fish are salted the same way and they are placed in layers within a container alternating with successive thick salt layers.

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