Photo Credit: Scott Foley

People either love or hate pickles; there’s no in between. No matter your feelings toward them, pickles seem to have always been around and we don’t often think about the process that it takes to make them. 

During the first rotation of January Term, one of the classes I took was called “Preserved,” taught by Caroline Santa and Sara Charme-Zane. The class was based on learning about food preservation and fermentation, processes that were developed to keep food edible for long periods of time. In this class, we made our own pickles, jam, sauerkraut, and kombucha. We also ate teas, cheeses, miso, dried fruit, and many other types of preserved food to examine the taste and smell of the items. With almost every experiment, we watched a video about the background of the food, the process of preservation, and the process of fermentation. After watching the videos, we journeyed to the Meetinghouse kitchen to start cooking. The experiments were a success; they tasted just like the store bought items, but the experience of making them ourselves made them so much more delicious. 

On our last day, we had a feast of everything we’d made along with other store bought items we tasted. This class exposed me to new ways to eat food and gave me useful skills. The lessons I learned will stick with me for a long time, as they have taught me that making food with my own hands gives it a special meaning.