The embryonic form of Chinese canned food(533~544)


It has been long history of China to use can for food preservation. According to the unearthed cultural relics, there were varieties of earthenware containers used for sealing food which could be dated back to 3000 years ago. In the 6th century AD when it was Northern Wei Dynasties, Qi-min-yao-shu compiled by Jia Sixie was recording a method of canning in detail which was called Stored in the urn: Cure the meat, then store in the urn, and seal with thick mud. It also mentioned a method of curing fish, Put one layer of fish, then a layer of rice, press by hand to make it compact, then seal with lotus leaf, to let no air escape. Although these methods are different from modern canning technology, the principles are quite similar that they both adopt canned forms to preserve food for long time at room temperature. That was over 1300 years earlier than Nicolas Appert’s canned invention. But as the laggard development of Chinese ancient industrial, this method of preservation wasnt widespread popularized and extensive developed. The canned food hadnt been introduced into China from the west until the end of Qing dynasty. In according to the pronunciation and shape, the exotic food was named Guantou by its homophonic transliteration and then began to spread in China.