Soaking of berries is one of the oldest ways in Russia to store food for winter.
Nowadays people mostly freeze berries. However, in Russia housewives did not abandon traditional soaking of berries, considering the end product to be tasty and healthy. In ancient times every village soaked berries in barrels, stocking vitamins up for the long winter.
Soaked cowberries – the perfect side dish to meat or fatty foods.Elements contained in these berries are natural preservatives and prevent the development of harmful bacteria and fungi. For soaking you should select only ripe whole berries and cover them with a water-salt solutionor honey diluted in water. Sometimes cooks add cinnamon and cloves. Soaked berries are left for several days in a warm room, and then placed in the cellar or on the glacier, where they can be stored until spring.
To soaked cranberries you don’t add any flavorings. There are so many natural preserving substances in cranberries that they prevent the development of the majority of bacteria. After soaking the cranberries begin fermentation, and soaked cranberries are kept in a warm place. And only when soaked berries are ready, they are moved to a cellar. Fermentation process in cranberries occurs only at temperatures above 10-12 degrees Celsius.
This healthful northern berry can be stored for a very long time when soaked. In this form it retains almost all its therapeutic properties. Northern peoples of Russia used to soak cloudberries in huge quantities, used it as a garnish, and also as medicine for many diseases. Today soaked cloudberries are made with salt or sugar. In Karelia the brine from soaked cloudberries is especially appreciated.
Blackthorn berries are soaked together with leaves of currant and raspberry and cherry branches. Both soaked blackthorn berries and their brine are valued. Brine is diluted with water, sweetened with honey or sugar and enjoyed as a refreshing drink.
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