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Motion Detector No. 13: Old Techniques, New Trends — Preservation

Museum Europäischer Kulturen

In its "Motion Detector" the Museum Europäischer Kulturen displays objects from its collection that are relevant to current topics. For Motion Detector No. 13 the MEK has chosen to treat the topic of food preservation methods, on the occasion of the 16th European Cultural Days  "Europe à la carte. Connected by Food", starting in August 2019.

Fermentation – that sounds like something from a chemistry lab kit or miraculous transformation. Foodies all over Europe have discovered the method and enthusiastically produce Kefir, Kimchi and Kombucha. Blogs and workshops provide the necessary know-how. But even their own great-grandmother knew how this works. After all, fermentation is one of the oldest methods of preservation. Sauerkraut is a classic product.

Revival of Preservation Methods

Other preservation methods are also experiencing a revival. For example, bottling is so popular that drugstores have started to offer a range of tools and accessories. Making juice or jam also appeals to a generation interested in more ecological, sustainable food production.

The preservation methods have remained the same. What is new is that the resulting food no longer only corresponds to the local culinary tradition: Recipes for fermented apricots, for example, are based on Japanese Umeboshi; preserved quinces in chai tea combine specialties from different regions.

Equipment like "Weckglas" and "Sensorium"

The equipment used has also evolved. The sauerkraut pot, which is perfectly adapted to the fermentation process, is rather unknown to many today. Classical, as already always there, is the mason jar, in German “Weckglas”, which is now over 100 years old. The J. Weck GmbH was and is so successful with its product that it was able to lend its German name to the activity itself: "Einwecken".

A completely new development is the "Sensorium" by designer Laura Görs. Her dishes are perfectly adapted to the enjoyment of fermented food: It makes the processes, the changes in texture, smell and appearance, accessible to all senses.