Texture of food isn’t changed by the expansion and contraction of water crystals when canned. However, canning has a different change which counts against the process. Fruit and vegetable enzymes are suspended easily when frozen but not when canned. Heating the food becomes necessary for that purpose. So various fruits and vegetables can (heh) get fairly mushy in their little jars.


Blanching is the compromise. Squishy blanched and canned food still exists but usually only comes from the very bottom of a jar. Enzymes still do their thing too, though at a reduced rate. The end result is that the shelf life of blanched-then-canned foods isn’t nearly so long as foods which are frozen or cooked and then canned.


There are other points to do with home canning and freezing that I haven’t included and still others I likely haven’t thought of at all. Then there are commercial canned and frozen foods. What local, national, or global companies reliably buy good stock from good people? Which labels do I trust when I’m out of options or time and want a can or frozen package of peas from the corner market?


This is what really sparked the debate again this year and, subsequently, this post. I bought a completely tasteless can of peas and don’t want to repeat the experience. I thought of conducting a cute experiment; hypothesis, criteria, the works. My funds are a little too limited for that sort of thing though.


What are your thoughts, please? Do you tend to buy frozen or canned fruits and vegetables? What brands do you like or dislike? Do you freeze or can foods yourself? How do you preserve meats for you and/ or your family?


And the first person to mention a certain canned meat product, the name of which rhymes with lamb, will be taunted profusely. That stuff is nasty.


Sources for this post include Wikipedia and stuff left in my brain by my nurturing grandmother and several brave and inventive junior middle and high school general science, chemistry, and biology teachers. All rights reserved for making left turns. Spleen not included. Void where prohibited by common sense.