How To Store Non-Perishable And Semiperishable Foods

Published: 12th March 2009
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It may seem unnecessary to give much attention to the storing of foods that do not spoil easily, but there are good reasons why such foods require careful storage. They should be properly cared for to prevent the loss of flavor by exposure to the air, to prevent the absorption of moisture, which produces a favorable opportunity for the growth of molds, and to prevent the attacks of insects and vermin. The best way in which to care for such foods is to store them in tightly closed vessels. Earthenware and glass jars, lard pails, coffee and cocoa cans, all carefully cleaned and having lids to fit, prove to be very satisfactory receptacles for such purposes.

Unless coffee, tea, cocoa, spices, and prepared cereals are bought in cans or moisture-proof containers, they should be emptied from the original packages and placed in jars that can be tightly closed, so that they will not deteriorate by being exposed to the air or moisture. For convenience and economy, these jars or cans should be labeled. Sugar and salt absorb moisture and form lumps when exposed to the air, and they, too, should be properly kept. A tin receptacle is the best kind for sugar, but for salt an earthenware or glass vessel should be used. It is not advisable to put these foods or any others into cupboards in paper bags, because foods kept in this way make disorderly looking shelves and are easily accessible to vermin, which are always attracted to food whenever it is not well protected.

Canned goods bought in tin cans do not need very careful storage. It is sufficient to keep them in a place dry enough to prevent the cans from rusting. Foods canned in glass, however, should be kept where they are not exposed to the light, as they will become more or less discolored unless they are stored in dark places.

Flour, meals, and cereals stored in quantities develop mold unless they are kept very dry. For the storing of these foods, therefore, wooden bins or metal-lined boxes kept in a dry place are the most satisfactory.

STORING OF SEMIPERISHABLE FOODS

Practically all vegetables and fruits with skins may be regarded as semiperishable foods, and while they do not spoil so easily as some foods, they require a certain amount of care. Potatoes are easily kept from spoiling if they are placed in a cool, dry, dark place, such as a cellar, a bin like that shown in Fig. 16 furnishing a very good means for such storage. It is, of course, economical to buy potatoes in large quantities, but if they must be kept under conditions that will permit them to sprout, shrivel, rot, or freeze, it is better to buy only a small quantity at a time. Sweet potatoes may be bought in considerable quantity and kept for some time if they are wrapped separately in pieces of paper and packed so that they do not touch one another.

Carrots, turnips, beets, and parsnips can be kept through the winter in very much the same manner as potatoes. They deteriorate less, however, if they are covered with earth or sand. Sometimes, especially in country districts, such winter vegetables are buried in the ground out of doors, being placed at a depth that renders them safe from the attacks of frost. Cabbage will keep very well if placed in barrels or boxes, but for long keeping, the roots should not be removed. Pumpkin and squash thoroughly matured do not spoil readily if they are stored in a dry place.

Apples and pears may be stored in boxes or barrels, but very fine varieties of these fruits should be wrapped separately in paper. All fruit should be looked over occasionally, and those which show signs of spoiling should be removed.

Find tips about cooking fresh green beans and cooking steak at the Easy Home Cooking website.

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