Thursday, September 19, 2013

Frozen, canned and fresh

There is a mighty movement for farm to table, getting the freshest ingredient possible at any time and i would maintain that limits you.
One strange example is where my biochemistry back ground comes in, i prefer to first freeze all my meats and fish because freezing "pops" the cell membrane and i rub the spice mixes or marinade while defrosting.  The flavor gets deeper.
Fresh must be used within a limited time frame and if you can get something on sale, you can not stock up.
Canned and frozen vegetables are usually picked at the ripeness peak and if you are cooking with them and the canned product does not have extra things added, there is no reason not to use.
With vegetables, frozen is best for me, but i really do like working with fresh from my garden.
Spices, a new category is added, dried and most spices lose flavor when dried, but most of us can not have a winter garden in our kitchen.
The big exception is oregano (and i suppose marjoram) where the flavor intensifies when dried.  From my experience Thyme also is stronger dried.
Delicate items like mint and basil can be dried, but even careful drying will lose flavor.  Cilantro can only be preserved in a mixture and frozen.
The opening of cell walls in plants is not a good thing in other words.