Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Nicolas Appert & Canned Food!

Of vineyards, tree, and garden sauce,
There should never be any loss.
If fresh picked and quickly canned,
When winter comes it will be in demand.
Collin Class Cookery 1931

Canned Food Day
National Canned Food Day is always celebrated on the birthdate of "The Father of Canning" Nicolas Appert was born on October 23, 1752 in France. There's very little information available about Nicholas Appert's social life but documentation of his canning contributions is pretty easy to find.

There have been many contributors to the timeline of canning and food preservation but Nicolas Appert has gone down in history as the "father of canning" Hmmm...perhaps, this is a good time to mention someone else who has made a contribution to the canning timeline. "The Chef of Kings and The King of Chefs." It seems Escoffier had his hand in the process of tomato canning. Auguste Escoffier used quite a bit of tomatoes in his cooking and he needed a continuous supply. He couldn't convince anyone in France to can tomatoes. He eventually came up with the idea of preserving tomatoes whole, crushed, puréed, or reduced to paste in tin cans.

The source for the information about Escoffier comes from an online book titled Escoffier-The King of Chefs by Kenneth James.(page 233) If you get a chance you really should take a look at it. It takes a while for all the pages to load but you can start reading while its loading.

Around 1810, Nicolas Appert, invented Peppermint Schnapps. When he was a Paris candy maker he invented it to put on ice cream. Napolean's wife, Austrian Marie Louise Duchess of Parma, took the recipe back to Austria where it not only became very popular used on ice cream, but as a drink. I didn't know that, did you? It was also in 1810 that Appert published L'Art de conserver les substances animales et végétales (or The Art of Preserving Animal and Vegetable Substances for Many Years). This was the first cookbook of its kind on modern food preservation methods.

And I must own I really love
The smell of cinnamon and clove.
Of vinegar and spicy pears
And all the juices Mom prepares
There's charm to canning time each year
With canning's special atmosphere;
But we know Mom; and we know her mind
For she is merciful and kind,
Our shelves are loaded down today
But Mom will give about half away!

1. National Canning Day October 23
2. All About Canning
3. The Science of Canning
4. Peppermint Schnapps
5. Nicolas Appert Biography @ Tasteful Inventions
6. Nicolas Francois Appert @ wikipedia
7. Canny Cooks @ Months of Edible Celebrations


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