Preserving is an ancient culinary technique that has recently been experiencing a revival. On Saturday 10 April, Oded Schwartz gave a fascinated group of Slow Fooders a ‘potted history’ of preserving, from why the root of ‘salt’ and of ‘war’ are so similar in Hebrew to why the origin of marmalade has more to do with quinces than oranges.
Oded is an expert in just about every preserve you can think of, whipping up huge batches of everything from old-fashioned sweet-and-sour gherkins to strawberry and vodka jam. He’s always experimenting with new techniques and ingredients, as evidenced by his onion konfyt (prepared like South African figs traditionally are) and bayonnaise (a creamy condiment made from oil and flesh from the baobab fruit).
(PS. Note the Jack Black beer on the counter – thanks to our artisinal brewers for keeping us refreshed during the talk.)
Oded shared some of his own secret ingredients and methods with us. For example, he finds Khoi San salt the best for brining. A Slow Food favourite too, this flaky pure sea salt is hand-harvested up the West Coast. Since most of his preserves and dishes have a Mediterranean flavour, Oded imports some of his ingredients, like his tahini. But you’ll understand why when you taste his amazing baba ganoush!
Saturday’s little taster left us wanting more, so Slow Food Mother City will be arranging a full four-hour course with Oded in a few months’ time. If you have ideas of what you’d like to learn, or want to be notified of when the course is running, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.