Canned food is now part of our daily lives, and as most of the things we get used to, you probably don’t put too much thought into it. Canned food became widely popular in World War I as the need for vast quantities of cheap, high-calorie food that would not spoil to feed the millions of soldiers became the concern of many countries. But canned food actually started back in the 1800s during another war, the Napolionic wars.
The cylindrical tin was not the first option for storing food, it was glass! Glass jars were replaced by Peter Durand’s patent for wrought-iron canisters, later shortened to “cans”. Nevertheless, glass jars have remained popular for some high-value products, and in home canning.
As for can openers, they weren’t invented for another 30 years. At first, soldiers had to cut the cans open with bayonets, or smash them open with rocks—what a bother!
The canned goods in your kitchen have quite an interesting story behind them; watch this video to find out more.