When you walk past those canned-food collection bins that are suddenly ubiquitous this time of year, have you ever wondered either how the foods got in the can or what you could do to turn those canned goods into an exciting meal?
First, some history. Up until the late 18th century, food preservation was largely limited to a few methods including sun drying, salting, smoking, freezing and pickling, none of which kept the food safe and edible long enough to reach Napoleon Bonaparte’s far-flung armies, according to Canned Food UK and other sources. Napoleon offered a prize to the person who could come up with a better way to preserve food, and eventually awarded it to Nicolas Appert, a confectioner who discovered that sealing food inside glass jars and exposing it to high heat kept it from spoiling.
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