Monday, September 3, 2007

Storing Food

The CC doesn't want to turn this into one of those self-help columns, you know, Fourteen Fast Foods, Nine Nightly Noshes, or even Help for Hapless Harried Housewives but feels a bit compelled to write this after having several conversations with supposedly intelligent people.

The CC is a firm believer in causality: you know, A causes B which causes C, etc. There isn't no magic but umami, and we are but its humble servants.

It all started one day, a long time ago, when the CC was packing something into a plastic bag, and squeezing out the air before he sealed the ziplock.

A friend asked why the CC was doing that, and the CC said, it'll increase the chances of the food not going bad (or equivalently, the food will not rot as fast.)

Firstly, scorn was heaped upon the CC for believing "old wives' tales", etc. while the CC just stood there with his characteristic supercilious save-me-from-this-village-idiot grin.

Some of you are likely to have experienced this grin yourself.

The CC asked the friend, "So why does food rot?"

The answer which the highly-intelligent, over-educated scientist did manage to come up with was "Because there are fungus and bacteria which attack the food."

The CC then asked, "So where are these fungus and bacteria?"

There was a nonplussed silence.

The CC was relentless, "So where are they?"

The CC invoked the sacred Socratic silence, tapped his foot, and waited impatiently for realization to strike.

It did strike as it always does, "All around us."

After that, the coup de grâce was delivered, "So if they are all around us, then it stands to reason that their numbers are proportional to the volume of air, and hence if you squeeze out the air, you're increasing the chances of your food not going bad."

This is not like coming up with a quantum theory of gravity, you know!

Anyway, now that he's gotten that off his chest, the CC will make a segue to talking about storing food.

The CC is a realist, and realizes that the need for fabulous food must be balanced with other concerns of modern society like making money to pay for the food, etc. And anything that can promote the cause of fabulous food is then a victory.

So how does one increase the chances of vegetables in the refrigerator?

As we have clearly noted, the process of rotting isn't magic. All vegetables are covered in gook when you buy them so wash them. Next, dry them completely. Wrap them in paper towels, and put them in open bags, and put them in the vegetable crisper. (The paper towels absorb the moisture that they give off; and you will need to change the towels every few days.)

The CC assures you that this works, and you will prolong the life of your vegetables by a few days.

And, never ever put tomatoes in the fridge. They lose their smell, and tomatoes that don't have an aroma are good for only one thing. Tossing in the garbage.

There is also no need to refrigerate onions, shallots, garlic, etc. This should be obvious.

Freezing also works but it also totally destroys the texture. The ice shards formed from the water content penetrates the walls of the cellular structure totally turning them into mush.

Happy vegetable eating. That's all, folks!

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