Q:

How did the pioneers preserve food?

A:

Quick Answer

The vast majority of food that the pioneers ate was preserved by drying or pickling. Scurvy, a disease caused by a vitamin C deficiency, was a constant risk to the pioneers and a year-round balanced diet had to be available.

  Know More

Full Answer

Fruits could be dried by covering them with cheesecloth in direct sunlight, possibly on the roof of a homestead. Once it became shriveled and hard, it is was hung in the cellar until it was needed. When consumed, it was stewed in water and sugar, however it was tough and lacked flavor.

A family would hunt or buy meat in a local market, but during the summer the meat could spoil on the same day so preserving meat quickly was important. If it was to be eaten within a few days it would be par-boiled or par-roasted as soon as possible and then the cooking was completed just before eating it. For longer periods of time, meat would be pickled by stacking it in layers in barrels, separated by layers of salt, saltpeter and brown sugar and then soaked in brine.

During the winter, it was possible to hang meat outside in order to freeze it or fill barrels with the meat along with snow to preserve it. Settlers that had access to chopped wood could also use a smokehouse which involved hanging meat above a fire that would last weeks or months at a time.

Learn more about Modern History
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do we need to preserve food?

    A:

    Food preservation is essential because it extends the length of time during which the food is nutritionally viable and safe to eat. Most fresh fruits, vegetables and animal products spoil quickly without refrigeration, dehydration or preservation. The Clemson Cooperative Extension states that the most popular and effective preserving techniques employ salt, sugar, vinegar or brine.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the history behind the fried food fest of regional, county or state fairs?

    A:

    The term "deep-fried" was first used to describe foods in the United States in the 1930s. The practice was popularized in the 19th century, mainly in the south, where African-Americans often prepared chicken by boiling it in hot oil.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What kinds of food did the pioneers eat?

    A:

    North American pioneers ate foods like grains, fruits, wild berries, fish, turkey, rabbit , deer, pork, eggs, milk, honey, corn, bread and potatoes. These were foods that they grew, picked, hunted or bought at a nearby general store. They also raised animals for food, such as pigs, chickens and cows.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do pasteurization and canning help preserve food?

    A:

    Both pasteurization and canning work to kill dangerous microorganisms in food, including bacteria, yeast and mold. Pasteurization boils the food directly, most often milk, whereas the canning method requires the food to be placed in an airtight container before boiling it in either a water bath or pressure canner.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore