Monday evening Buffalo Rising hosted its first-ever Can You Can?, an event designed to encourage those that make the effort to can and preserve the fruits and vegetables of the harvest season. The party, held on the upper level of Delish Cooking School & Pastry Shop, was well attended with more than 25 guests and over 30 canned entries.
Folks arrived with boxes full of treasured food goods–jams, pickles, dilly beans and a whole slew of unique items. Everyone entered one jar into the contest, while two additional jars were brought for participating in our swap, allowing each guest to take home tasty treats prepared by their fellow canners. Judges Deb Clark of Delish, Bert Gambini of WBFO and award-winning canner Debra Dechart of Deb’s Delights took their time, sampling all of the entries and rating them in the areas of taste, appearance, overall appeal and texture. Attendees enjoyed pints of cold beer and plenty of delicious samples. They even voted for their favorite of all the items.
A few things we learned for next time. There is some division in theory amongst canners. Some felt that the entries that had not been pressure canned, and instead required refrigeration, should not be considered as “canned” items since they were not truly preserved. While others felt that those who used an acid, say vinegar, instead of fermentation as a preservation method were producing a less authentic product. These are conversation had in canning circles all over, so we weren’t entirely surprised to hear them. Honestly, there were no hard feelings or grumpy canners, but the group of foodies definitely has some opinions!
Neo provided our winners with remarkably wrapped foodie gifts from their super cute gift shop on Elmwood near West Utica. I hope that the winners can forgive me, our tally sheet and list of names were soiled by Monday night’s rain and are illegible. Below are some images of winner and particpants from the evening’s events!