The process of making soaked fruits or vegetables is an ancient way of preserving for a long time. Washed fruits and vegetables were consumed even before our era by a lot of people living in northern Europe and Siberia.
The most interesting thing is that nowadays the soaked products remained almost unchanged. Often even dishes are used in the same way that was popular many centuries ago - wooden tubs and barrels. Unfortunately, the problem of modernity is small-sized apartments, so it is difficult to find a place for the traditional way of soaking (in barrels and tubs). And it is wooden spools and barrels that allow you to achieve the unique taste and aroma of soaked products. But people are tempted to use enameled pots, ceramic dishes and even cans, and to achieve the "taste of the barrel" use oak sawdust! But with jars it is more difficult - you can't put apple or berries in them under pressure, so the process is a little slower, two or even three months.
You can soak anything you want: fruits, berries, vegetables, melons, and it's not only simple, but also delicious, and in some cases more useful than other ways of preparation.
You don't have to clean and cut anything, just wash and soak it well.
Economical kind of preservation - neither gas nor electricity will be spent, and from "preservatives" - salt, sugar, spices, mustard and in some cases - rye flour. So, it's worth remembering the traditions of our ancestors.
A city dweller who does not understand the intricacies of preservation can easily confuse soaking with the souring process. The main difference between soaking and souring is that it is important to have a lot of sugar in the products or brine when soaking.
During the souring, the presence of a small amount of sugar does not play a role, the main job is done by sour milk bacteria, which produce acid and make sour fruits and vegetables.
When they say "soaked", most of us think about apples, but it is possible to soak not only them, but also pears, and different berries: cowberries, cloudberries, cranberries, mountain ash, even berries with vegetable flavor - fizalis, many like soaked watermelons, and sometimes use a combination of options: apples are added to mountain ash or cowberries, sometimes cabbage.
And in the old days even beetroot was washed: well washed, it was poured with well water and pressed, and then it was eaten all winter, and brine was used to drink and for soups.
In most cases, the stewed products were softer than sour. This is explained by the fact that the yeast in the soaked items is more processed fiber, which is the main hard "skeleton" of products.
For normal life of yeast and successful soaking process barley malt is often added to the barrel with soaked products, and all brine eventually becomes like kvass. And soaked foods also taste a little like this drink.
Food is soaked most often in barrels or tubs, where even layers of apples, for example, are placed, shifting each layer with cabbage or currant leaves. Our ancestors very often put hay or simple green leaves, because the main task of such "layers" is to reduce the pressure of apples from the overlying layers on the lower ones to keep their shape and volume.
After filling the barrels, pour everything with brine, consisting of water (better well water, but filtered and bottled water will do), which is added 1% salt (better stone, not "extra"), up to 4% sugar and about 1% malt. Malt, by the way, can be safely replaced with rye flour, rye crumbs or dry kvass.
Lovers of spicy taste add spices: cinnamon, cloves, scented peppers. A common component for soaking - dry mustard. It is added both in sweet pouring and in pouring with rye flour. The taste of apples and berries in such brine is sour, tart and unusual.
After a few days (depending on the temperature of the room, and the best quality fermentation occurs in the range from 15 to 22 degrees) on the brine surface foam is formed: this means that the fermentation process is in progress. During this time, punch holes with special metal rods until it is time to remove excess gas and bring the barrels into a cool room where the fruit will ferment slowly at a temperature of 4 - 6 °C. And in a month or two, the soaked product will be ready.
Soaking allows you to save as much vitamins and other nutrients as possible, and vitamin C is also "multiplied"! So, for example, in the apples (and especially if you wet them together with potassium or cranberry), the amount of ascorbic acid increases.
Properly prepared fruits and vegetables are not only arousing appetite, but also can accelerate the secretion of gastric juice, as well as increase intestinal peristalsis.
And of course, the big plus is the ability to store it for a long time. Watermelons, which are difficult to preserve until winter, and apples, which rarely survive until early spring, in a barrel are nutritious and good to eat all year round, which ensured such popularity of this method of fruit storage. Especially in the North, where the storage period of the harvest starts already in October.
There are several minuses in the products: it is excess salt, as well as acid, because of which they are not recommended for people with stomach and 12 colon ulcers, as well as with increased acidity.