Canned foods have been a longtime staple on American shelves, but did you know that the canning process originated in 18th century France? That’s where Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, concerned about properly nourishing his armies, announced a generous reward for whomever could develop a valid system for food preservation.
Nicholas Appert secured the prize with his idea of preserving food in bottles, like wine. Fifteen years and many experiments later, he realized that if food is properly heated and sealed in an airtight container, it will remain edible. The idea spread throughout Europe and the first commercial canning factory opened in England in 1813.
Today—nearly two and a half centuries later—the process is as safe, sustainable and nutritious as ever. Check out the below infographic from our friends at the Canned Food Alliance for more behind-the-scenes information on this method. Then, visit our Digital Recipe Box for appetizer, entrée and dessert ideas using your favorite canned fruits and veggies.