Skip to content

Food Preservation

1 September 2010

By Shannon Judd

Dagwaagin (Fall) is a time for harvesting miijiman (food) and preparing for the long northern biboon (winter).  Before electricity and grocery stores, food preservation methods were essential to winter survival.

Canning and freezing often come to mind when thinking of food preservation, but other techniques commonly used include:  drying, gaaskizan (smoking), salting, and cold storage.

Drying is an ancient method of preservation and a good technique to use for wiiyaas (meat), giigoonhyag (fish), fruits, herbs and wazh-ashkwedoonsag (mushrooms).  Vegetables tend to lose their flavor and nutrition content if dried.  Traditionally, food would be laid out in the sun or over a fire to dry.  Another method, salting, provides protection from many bacteria, which cannot survive the high salt environment.  Though typically used for wiiyaas, salt can be used on herbs and vegetables.  One disadvantage is most of the salt should be removed before eating to avoid consuming excessive sodium.

Finally, cold storage is time-honored, even without a refrigerator. Some foods can be stored in the ground, provided there is some insulation, such as straw or mulch, to protect against severe cold and frost.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: