how long do lacto-fermented foods "keep" in the fridge? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-25-2006, 11:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Things like salsa & pickles...can they keep for several months in the fridge or do they need to be used up more quickly than that? Is there a way to actually can them without killing the beneficial properties (I know next to nothing about canning, so forgive me if that's a stupid question!)?
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#2 of 9 Old 07-26-2006, 01:13 AM
 
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I think they keep almost indefinitely. Unless they have been pasteurized, they should keep at least several months since that was one of the scarce ways people used to be able to have vegetables in the winter.

I'm not sure about canning. I wouldn't do it personally since metal is reactive, and I wouldn't want to keep fermented foods in metal containers. Also the food should continue to ferment for awhile and not sure if the can would poof out or explode. Or maybe the bacteria and yeasts would be killed off by lack of air?
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#3 of 9 Old 07-26-2006, 01:24 AM
 
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I've got pickles in the fridge that I started last summer. They are still delicious -- ate one yesterday -- and crisp, too. I know that Sandor Katz says that sauerkraut can keep for many, many months in the fridge or other cool spot, though I haven't tested that theory. (See my post about my familie's inability to let sauerkraut ripen -- we like it too much! )
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#4 of 9 Old 07-26-2006, 11:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdmama33
I've got pickles in the fridge that I started last summer. They are still delicious -- ate one yesterday -- and crisp, too. I know that Sandor Katz says that sauerkraut can keep for many, many months in the fridge or other cool spot, though I haven't tested that theory. (See my post about my familie's inability to let sauerkraut ripen -- we like it too much! )
I have sauerkraut that I don't like that much (I used purple cabbage -- it's pretty, but I don't like the taste that much.) It's at least two years old, and still fine.
Pickles, too -- I've never had them go bad. They sit in my cupboard unopened for years sometimes.
Canning in Mason jars cooks the food, so destroys the good bacteria and enzymes.

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#5 of 9 Old 07-26-2006, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So fermented foods don't have to be refrigerated? (That sounds dumb, but I know there was some mention in NT about transferring things to a refrigerator or someplace cold after the initial fermenting period.) Do they just keep fermenting and getting stronger-tasting if you leave them out?
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#6 of 9 Old 07-26-2006, 07:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by caedmyn
So fermented foods don't have to be refrigerated? (That sounds dumb, but I know there was some mention in NT about transferring things to a refrigerator or someplace cold after the initial fermenting period.) Do they just keep fermenting and getting stronger-tasting if you leave them out?
The ones I have cultured with whey I keep in the refrigerator. But I make my pickles according to an old recipe of my mother's, and they can stay at room temperature. The cucumbers are blanched, but not cooked. I don't really know why they can stay at room temperature when they have not been processed. Years ago my mother told me it is because the brine has a high salt content. Everything else I keep refrigerated (which is why I have NO room in there!)

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#7 of 9 Old 07-26-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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Foods fermented with salt will keep for awhile at room temp, but they will continue to ferment/ripen as they go. If you refridgerate them, you slow down the fermentation process. I put my pickles in a cool spot/the fridge when I'm happy with the taste so that they won't continue to ripen.
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#8 of 9 Old 07-27-2006, 12:04 PM
 
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A loooooong time. Most of ours don't last too long. We eat kimchi plain and by big spoonfuls. Well, dh and the kids do. I like it WITH something. But the ketchup lasts a good long while and I have some apricot butter straight from NT that is probably two years old and still good. If it goes off, you'll know by smelling it.

Zia+Lane+Sonora=Mi Vida Loca! :
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#9 of 9 Old 07-27-2006, 01:34 PM
 
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Yesterday it was hot again, so I didn't want to cook. I got some salad shrimp (wild caught!) and decided to make a shrimp salad. I was hunting in my refrigerator for the ingredients to make a Sauce Louis when I found in the back a small Mason jar with some homemade Sauce Louis in it that I have no memory of saving, so it has to be several months old. I was amazed to find that it was still perfectly good, since it has cream in it, but it didn't smell or taste soured. I did make it with some whey in it, so I guess that preserved it, even though I didn't let it sit out at all -- it's just that when I made it the only lemon juice I had on hand was already mixed with whey, which I use to flavor sparkling water. So I used that as a flavoring in the sauce, and that's the only thing in there that would preserve it. But I ate it, and I'm still here and healthy this morning, so it must have been okay!

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