Preserved in jar: 10 rules to make them perfect – Italian Cuisine

Preserved in jar: 10 rules to make them perfect

The homemade tomato puree is its queen, sovereign of a boundless kingdom whose subjects range from the delicious chutneys to the traditional fruit jams (the jams, however, are not all the same …). Preparing the preserves is a source of immediate and prolonged satisfactions. Of course, you have to keep an eye on the Botox risk, otherwise the door to the Conserve kingdom is open. Where is the entrance? From fruit or vegetables fresh and of quality, with few tools jars and some important foresight.

1) Choose the ingredient-base always in season and preferably bio (or better yet, biodynamic); if you use fruit, prefer it well ripe, when it is more juicy and sweet (in this month, plums, grapes, figs, but also peaches, apples and pears); discard the first fruits, less tasty and more expensive. Fruit and vegetables should always be washed, even if they are peeled.

2) The equipment necessary is limited and you probably have it: a wide and deep steel saucepan, a wooden spoon, a kitchen scale, a small ladle, a graduated carafe. You could also use a colander and a funnel.

3) I glass jars they must be new or in excellent condition, with a wide mouth and an airtight screw cap: they are cheap, easy to find and in various sizes. Better to use the medium ones (250 g) so that, once opened, they can be finished in a short time.

4) Jars e covers they must be very clean and dry: wash them yourself in the dishwasher at maximum temperature. If the filling is done with cold products, this is sufficient. Otherwise, better proceed to 'sterilization', or more correctly 'Sanitizing', of jars & lids: dip them in a pot of cold water and boil them for about 10 minutes. In order not to make the sanitation vain, after the treatment the containers must be left
immersed in the water until they are filled.

5) Cooking times jams and chutneys can vary by a few minutes compared to the recipe you have chosen, because ripe fruit is often more watery. In this case, to get the right consistency, you can add a peeled and diced apple: the apples, in fact, contain pectin, substance with the thickening effect.

6) Fill the jars leaving 1 cm of free space from the edge (used to form a vacuum during cooling). It is important not to leave residues on the edges, especially on the outside. If smudges remain, clean well with dampened kitchen paper and dry before screwing the capsule.

7) If the preserve that you are cooking is hot (as in the case of jams, compotes and chutneys), at this point turn the jars upside down and wait for them to cool completely. Then, turn them and controlled that the vacuum has formed: the capsule must be perfectly flat or curved inwards.

8) For jams with little sugar and some preserves, one is mandatory home pasteurization. After filling and closing the jars well, place them in a saucepan lined with a clean cloth, wrap them with other cloths to prevent them from breaking and cover them with warm water whose level must overcome them of a few centimeters. Calculate the time from boiling: iThe time required depends on the type of preserves, the type of container and its size (about 20 minutes for 250 g jars, however follow the times indicated by the recipe) and let them cool in the water. After 12-24 hours, inspect again that the lid is lowered to the center, pressing it lightly (you should hear a click-clak for the metal caps): it is the sign that it is formed the vacuum pack.

9) At this point the preserve is ready: all that remains is to attack youlabel to write the name of your creation, but above all useful to remember the preparation date and then check the deadline (usually 10-12 months). Store the jars in a dry and cool place. away from light and heat sources.

10) Check once in a while if it has formed on the surface mold or if the lid has swollen: in this case, do not hesitate to throw everything away. Once the jar is open, keep it in the refrigerator and consume it within a few days.

Paola Mancuso
September 2016
updated in September 2019
by Carola Traverso Saibante


The 5 rules of coffee that all bars should respect – Italian Cuisine

How to recognize a good coffee at the bar according to the Consortium for the protection of traditional Italian espresso

Morning coffee (77%). That of the break (53%), of lunch, of mid-afternoon and even of evening. Italians love it and drink it at home (92%) and at the bar (72%). 58% say they drink it to find the necessary charge to face the day and 77% drink it in the morning when they wake up, for 47% of those interviewed it is a pleasure and 37% consider it a ritual to be consumed together with others. (source: Coffee Monitor 2018, Nomisma).

But how do we drink it? The Consortium for the protection of traditional Italian espresso coffee has drawn up a Disciplinary, shared with the Italian Coffee Committee to allow us to ask for the best from our favorite drink, learning to distinguish a good coffee from a poorly prepared coffee.

Coffee beans and grinding

Prefer the bars that grind directly: after only 15 minutes from the grinding it loses about 65% of the aromas. It should therefore only be used on coffee beans which must be ground to a weight that can vary between 7 and 9 g, taking care to keep it in the dispenser as little time as possible. Even if kept in grains, coffee should be stored in special containers that should be cleaned periodically as the oil contained inside the beans can oxidize on contact with air and go rancid.

Beverage extraction

The contact time between water and coffee conditions the extraction of the aromatic components present inside the bean. The greater the extraction, the greater the number of water-soluble substances in the beverage. But this is not necessarily a good thing, because some of these substances are not pleasant, so the ultimate goal is to find the right balance. The delivery time is between 20 and 27 seconds.

The aroma

If we feel the need to add sugar, it means that it has not been prepared properly. The aroma should be pleasant and intense, the full taste pleasantly bitter and never astringent. A bad effect on the thing could be the bad cleaning of the machine and an old grind.

The cup

The content in the cup should be between 13 and 26 g. at a temperature between 90 ° C and 96 ° C. Coffee should preferably be served in cups of porcelain with the bottom narrower than the mouthpiece and of adequate thickness to maintain the temperature.

The cream

The Traditional Italian Espresso coffee, to be considered as such, must have a uniform and persistent cream for at least 120 seconds from the end of the unmixed beverage delivery.

10 rules for cooking without waste – Italian Cuisine

10 rules for cooking without waste

A well thought out expense

Do the shopping day by day, evaluating quantities and times of deterioration well.
Especially now that you are on vacation, you may decide at the last moment to dine out or at a friend's house. And, in the refrigerator, the food purchased in abundance "ages" and to a large extent will have to be discarded at the time of use. The problem would not have arisen if the expenditure had been done in a thoughtful way and day by day.

A lot or a few? The right

Cook well-measured portions on the appetite of diners.
On vacation, despite the good intentions of the vigil, we move less and, except for the most avid sportsmen, we assume more "comfortable" habits and more relaxed times. Our body therefore needs less calories. Cooking the "right", therefore, without exceeding the number of courses and in "size" is important for a healthy balance and for a better use of resources: less food, fewer calories, less waste.

Nothing is thrown away

Use all the parts of a product giving space to creativity.
Knowing how to use in an appropriate way every part (or almost) of a product is a sign of attention to sustainability, but above all it opens up new experiences and the discovery of unexpected flavors. Not everyone knows, for example, that pea pods can become a tasty drink or that the pumpkin skin put in the oven is better than a chip. Experiment, therefore, with prudence. For those who do not trust their abilities, they can follow the instructions of chef Aliberti who has reused his philosophy of cooking.

Store, store and keep

Learning the art of conservation extends the life of food.
A good use of the different compartments of the refrigerator, placing the products paying attention to the different temperatures, is a small and easy trick that improves the preservation of food. Even combining one food with another can generate unexpected or undesirable effects: for example, apples accelerate the ripening of other fruits.

The time of things

Check the expiration date thinking about when you will use the product.
Plan, plan, establish: on vacation are verbs we would never want to hear. Just relax. But a minimum of programming at the right time helps not to waste time, money or food. Looking at the expiry date of the products requires little effort, let's face it. And even think about whether we will eat ricotta at dinner or in a week. A small choice, a great saving.

Less is better

Choose thinking about the next.
Packaging is undoubtedly an important factor for the good preservation of food, but when it is too much it is too much … A good expense also starts from knowing how to choose the product protected by an effective but not excessive packaging and that is easily recyclable. If a package is made of different materials, recycling it correctly (where do I throw it?) Becomes a challenge that is almost impossible to overcome.

The next day is even better

It is a "grandmother's" device, but no less valid even today: the advanced food is not thrown away. This was a stupid habit that we bought thinking that it was reprehensible to do, just like our grandmothers did, that is to reuse the next day. Meatballs or meatloaf, for example, are spectacular examples of intelligent re-use of food the day before. What you have not finished at dinner can become a perfect component of the picnic on the beach of the next day.

On the beach (or in the mountains) you can do without it

Limit the use of dishes, plates and cutlery.
Even on the beach or on the mountain trails we have the right to our comforts. Sure. But it is not necessary to reproduce the same lifestyle even in those places. A picnic is fun even if the table is not set at home. Less crockery, cutlery and plates means moving more easily, having fewer items to wash and therefore consuming less water (scarce resource) and less detergents (highly polluting). This is also anti-waste attention. Obviously the plastic must be banned.

Outside the home, don't waste the opportunity

Choose the restaurant as a conscious gesture.
On vacation you go more often to the restaurant. It is a beautiful occasion for conviviality, but above all it is an opportunity to learn about a fundamental element of the place where we find ourselves. Cuisine is history and culture. Through the kitchen we know the typical products, the life habits of a city, we discover new flavors, we explore traditions and human typologies. Choosing where to eat is therefore almost as important as visiting the monuments and attractions of the place. It is an opportunity for knowledge not to be wasted.

Ask and it will be given to you

Do not be ashamed to ask for food that has not been consumed.
Abroad it is a practice that has always been in force, but in Italy we are struggling to adopt it. But asking the restaurateur to adequately package the food we have made is not only our right but it is also a healthy and right habit. Nowadays there are more and more restaurants where this good practice has come into use, but we customers must learn not to be ashamed and to ask for it when it is not proposed to us. The important thing is that the container is suitable for storage. Many Italian restaurants have equipped themselves with a special container – Refuge its name – which Fipe has made available to its members. Ask for it.

The anti-waste recipe of chef Franco Aliberti

100% courgette


3 stems of courgette plants, h2o, salt, 3 courgette leaves recovered from the stem, zucchini cream, 5 courgettes, extra virgin olive oil, half shallot, salt pepper


Clean the outside of the stems with the help of a potato peeler. Cut them diagonally so that they look like half a pen, cook the leaves in salted water for about 3 minutes, cut them thin. Add the sliced ​​zucchini, pour ice or cold water and cook.
For the cream: in a frying pan wither the oil with the oil, add the sliced ​​zucchini, pour ice or cold water and cook over medium heat until cooked and evaporated. Mix by adding oil, salt and pepper. Cook the half pen in salted water for 2 minutes and finish cooking in the pan with the leaves and the cream for another 2 minutes.

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