Preserving jars (the really good ones) are expensive to buy; however, if you keep an eye out you can still find excellent quality preserving jars for "free" scavenged from products we use.
The pic (above) shows this free jar in action used to preserve cucumber, Jerusalem artichoke root, and mustard stems
Now, most standard jars used commercially to sell and store foodstuffs such as pickles, jams/jellies, etc are usually fine to reuse again for home preserves except they tend to have poor quality lids and are generally not the best standard to reuse over and over.
But sometimes you do come across a jar, originally purchased for what it contains, that then turns into top vessel to keep and use many times over for all those wonderful home preserves and the large (560g) Siena Anchovy fillets jar is one of those products.
I stumbled upon this jar at my local supermarket when looking for a cheaper alternative to buying anchovies. We eat a lot of anchovies – my family and I have a keen love affair with Mediterranean/Northern African style cuisine so we tend to go through quite a few anchovies! The problem is they can be pricey when purchased in the standard small sized jar or tin; however, when you buy them in the larger jar you can save 60 – 70% and that's a good deal!
In the early 90's, I spent some time (nearly 12 months) in Morocco and various places/countries around the Sahara Desert in North/West Africa and one of the notable foods was the humble anchovy. Often, there would be huge clay crocks displayed on banquet tables or in restaurants full of anchovies in oil so people could help themselves and I just loved them!
Here in Australia, you don't tend to see anchovies used as much in cooking or as a side snack, although they are pretty popular as a pizza topping… Anyway, I'm going off track because it's really the jar I want to give the accolades to and not the fish.
Therefore, the reasons I love this anchovy Siena jar so much are:
- Good thick glass able to be processed and heat treated (sterilised) without fear of breaking;
- Wide mouth for easy access to contents;
- Strong well made hinged lid for easy lid opening;
- Excellent quality rubber grommet around lid rim good for using as a lacto-fermentation container; and
- Perfect size for pickles or jams or whatever preserves you desire.
Image above shows jar used for lacto-fermented Jerusalem artichoke root next to original contents (anchovies)
For someone who is always looking to save some costs and be frugal where possible, it's an extra bonus when something you buy can be subsequently reused again and again for something else. So, if you like anchovies and are able to get your hands on this particular type of jar or brand (Siena) then I recommend you give it a go!
Looking to buy preserving jars? Then check out these links:
Do you know of a similar product that comes with a great reusable jar or container? If so, share it below in the comments section or on our forum discussion found here.