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Storing fresh food in such a way that it will remain in good condition for long periods.

The Romans preserved meat in brine, soaking it later in milk to remove most of the salt. To keep food from spoiling, people have at various times in history tried almost everything. At one point it was solemnly believed that plain water, reduced to one-third its volume by boiling, was somehow effective as a preservative.

Enveloping food in fat, an early European method, is still used to preserve some meat. Paté de foie gras has traditionally been preserved by putting it in stoneware pots (terrines) and covering it with fat, which congeals to make an almost airtight cover, like the paraffin used to seal jelly jars. See 'Preservation by salting'

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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