The wonderful world of the pickle jar- and why every home should be reusing them!
There are times in the food industry where a can just doesn’t cut it- but why? Have you ever stopped to wonder why some of your Miami Canner’s favourites come wrapped in a can, yet we opt for bottles for others? We’re here today with everything you could ever want to know about our delicious pickles, atchars and onions… from jar to table and beyond!
What’s in a jar (and why)?
As a sneaky child, did you ever get ‘caught with your hand in the pickle jar?’ Shh… we won’t tell anyone! It’s funny, however, how entrenched some associations are in our minds. Can you imagine eating a pickled onion out of a can? It just doesn’t feel right, does it?
Offering succulent pickled products in jars is hardly a new trend. The arrival of the famous ‘Mason Jar’ on the scene in 1858 was a turning point in the craft of preserving food. Suddenly there was a safe, non-absorbent, long-lasting and reusable way to keep food healthy and free of contaminants, extending their preserved life almost indefinitely. The simple glass body and screw-on lid were revolutionary in the food industry, at a time when canning with tins was a decidedly unsafe practice.
While we’ve come a long way in tin technology since then, and modern tins are safe and effective too, why do we still use jars?
Jars are the perfect canning medium for anything that’s a little acidic- like chilli-and-tomato based atchar, or sweet, tangy pickles. With older tin technologies, this gentle acid would often interact with the tin or the lining of the tin. Have you ever noticed that fizzy colas can have a slight metallic taste if you leave the open too long? While the days when this ‘leeching’ would occur in-tin and without exposure to air have passed as newer technologies were developed, glass still makes the very best choice for these tangy sweet-and-sour products. Plus pickle jars make an attractive addition to your pantry, too.
Can I do anything with my old jars?
There’s even better news, too! When you’ve finished your delicious jarred produce, you’re left with a sturdy, easily reusable (and recyclable) jar that can be repurposed for 100s of uses! Here’s just a few of our staffs’ favourite ways to reuse the jars from our ranges.
1) Light it up!
With loadshedding a sad reality, what better way to reuse an old jar than to help you use candles more safely? Use them for holding tealights, as hanging garden lanterns, to light up a pavilion outside when you braai, to hold emergency candles, and even as an impromptu oil lamp- they’re more than up to the challenge!
2) Get cooking
Want a nifty new way to package your salad? A fun-tastic way to package sweet treats? The easy start for a herb garden? Or just a way to keep your flours and dry goods fresher for longer? Look no further than that empty pickle jar- you can even use them to keep your cupcake liners organised and dry.
3) Organise your life
What can’t you fit in a jar? From holding paint for your DIY projects and the pens on your desk, right through to making your own all-natural room freshener, you can repurpose your jar for almost any need around the home.
4) Keep it pretty
No need for your repurposed jars to look reused, either. You can easily create a rustic look by wrapping your jar in twine with a little glue. Or use craft glue and fabric strips to create a truly personalised decor look. Glass jars can also be painted inside and out with spray paint. You can even use chalk paint to make versatile, matching dry good storage for your kitchen that you can easily markup and track.
The humble glass jar is quite a marvel. From ensuring your delectable atchar reaches the table tasting just perfect, to helping you around the home afterwards, what’s not to love? No wonder the team here at Miami Canners love our pickle lines so much!