There are two types of people. Those that pickle and preserve and those that don't. My family fall heavily in the former camp. The garages under the house in Italy are neatly packed, ceiling high with jars of preserved vegetables and fruits like my favourite, zolle, the pickled tops of the garlic plant. Utterly delicious. They also bottle a year's worth of tomato sauce and until recently, the ceilings were adorned with curing meats like salami and ageing cheeses. It is a haven.
I recently returned from a trip to Italy and high on the fumes of vinegar I am as keen as ever to bring that preserving tradition to my own home. Although I don't have the garden to grow enough produce for year round food, I'll be starting off with easy things like pickled Giardiniere and then go on to mushrooms in oil and maybe some aubergines. But it all takes skill and knowing exactly how to handle and treat the produce to avoid spoiling.
Wisdom for Home Preservers by Robin Ripley is published by Apple Press and costs £12.99.
I was sent this copy for review.