You may have noticed a glossy sheen on the fruits and vegetables in your local grocery store.
This is considered a wax food.
This wax coating actually serves a purpose; wax holds in moisture and slows oxygen penetration, which in turn slows the ripening process.
Wax coating allows preservatives to give food a higher shelf life, which is ideal for food storage. However, not all foods can benefit from this process.
So which foods work best for wax preserving?
I'm tackling that question today showing you how to wax your food for long-term storage.
All foods were not created equal and some of them work better for wax preserving. Here's the food that best compliments itself to wax preserving.
Paraffin wax has been used for many moons to seal the tops of jams and jellies.
It was used as a quick way to preserve the product, which keeps it from spoiling and prevents mold from forming on top of the food.
This wax food technique is reasonably straightforward.
Paraffin wax is melted and poured over the product, which creates a barrier from bacteria and oxygen, and as it cools, it forms a protective seal.
Although this technique has become less prominent due to canning, it still creates a way of preserving harden vegetables or any food for years.
Imagine yourself in a crisis situation without the cheese.
So how can wax food help you avoid this situation?
We’ve all experienced cheese covered in wax; there is a specific reason for that, cheese is an “aged” food, so when you cover it with wax, store it in a cool, dry place, you can keep this delectable-dairy treat almost indefinitely or store it in a cooler.
Not all cheeses will stand the waxy test of time, so the question is: which cheese can you wax?
Unfortunately, soft cheeses are not good candidates for waxing.
Moisture is the breeding ground for bacteria, so ooey-gooey cheeses are not the best in this situation.
However, hard cheeses, such as cheddar, parmesan, gruyere, Colby, and Swiss (yum), are all types of cheeses that are smoothly waxed safely store without refrigeration.
Paraffin is excellent, but not always best.
A quick internet search can set you on the right path for what will work best for your specific cheese.
Brushing uses low heat, 198-204°F (hot, but low compared to dipping).
Fill a metal canister with the desired wax and submerge it in a pot of water.
Once the desired temperature is achieved, the wax is then brushed onto the food.
Dipping uses high heat, 224-236°F.
Place wax directly into the pan and melt completely.
Use proper utensils, such as tongs, to avoid injury from the high-temperature wax.
Paper towels and hot water are going to be your friends during clean up while making wax food. There are ways as well to purify water.
A quick wipe followed by a solvent, such as turpentine, can make for a comfortable cleaning situation. If an accident occurs during cleanup, better check this Mini First Aid Kit by American Red Cross.
Quick tip* dedicate a “throwaway” utensil to wax clean up.
It is easier to chuck a cheap utensil than to spend the time cleaning a brush that you want to keep.
Wax is water repellent, airtight, and bacteria resistant (when done right).
These are food storage qualities that can make or break your nutrient intake in a crisis situation.
Plus, who doesn’t want jams, jellies, and cheese in their food storage arsenal?
Waxing food can be an imitating thing to start doing.
If you follow this guide on how to wax food, you'll be well on your way.
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