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Catch as Catch Can

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Cans and cants

Catch as catch can. Storing seasonable fresh ingredients for a rainy day is a nice idea. Whether frozen or canned, the solution is valid. Cans have a bad reputation, yet supermarkets bulge with them.

Buying canned raw ingredients is second best. The fewer the ingredients, the better. When whole meals come in cans, the situation gets complicated. They often are high in sodium and low in quality. So better avoid those abominations. If you don’t live in an atomic shelter that is. 

cans and cant

Catch can legumes

canned chickpeas

Rich in proteins and minerals, legumes are a valid substitute for meat. They either come dried or in a can. And both have advantages. Dried legumes require overnight soaking and a rather long cooking time.

Canned legumes instead come cooked. The catch is the whopping amount of sodium. Rinsing them reduces but does not eliminate the salt.

Dried they are far cheaper and some recipes ask for uncooked legumes. Felafel just to name one.

Catch can animal proteins

Animal proteins are difficult to store. Putrefaction and  parasites. Canning is an excellent solution. Some claim the shelf life last as long as the can itself.

Though not in cans, tuna is historically processed and sold. Other kinds of fish followed the example. Mackerel, anchovies and salmon in cans are everywhere.

Canned meat is the result of military research. Not to fight the enemy with but to feed the troops. And although not a culinary masterpiece, many love it. 

catch can proteins

Fruit and veggies

catch as catch can vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are season-bound. And not only. Some fruits and vegetables are hard to catch, growing far away. Again canning can be a solution.

Always rinse your fruit and veggies. Wash away the extra salt and or sugar. And avoid further heating. In order to be safe, the cans undergo a long boiling process. Especially for fruit this stretches the use to the limit.

Use canned fruit and vegetables for specific recipes, they do not substitute the fresh ones. 

Catch as catch can tomatoes

Cuisines such as the Italian one ask for a lot of tomato. Salsa, chunks, paste. The existence of canned tomato is a bless. Many bear countyside images, since in days bygone people prepared this themselves. Today most folk happily catch a can. 

Our advice is to use unprocessed tomatoes. Add the other ingredients yourself. That way you have more control over the outcome of your recipe.

catch as catch can tomatoes

Exempli Gratia

groovy pasta with toasted breadcrumb and anchovy

Pasta c’anciova (pasta kan-chioh-vah) is probably Palermo’s most emblematic dish.  Without knowing nor caring for that title. It’s uncouth, it’s simple. Yet it is savory and smooth. It is a dish that unites contrasts.

The two main ingredients come in a can. Tomato concentrate and anchovies. The only fresh ingredient in this recipe is an onion. 

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