Chapter 255 – Journal of Preserved Food Development
It’s been three days since we started making the new preserved food. In the meantime, I have created a number of samples with my crafting abilities and distributed them to the soldiers of the Liberation Army stationed in Merinesburg. I asked them to use a can opener to open the cans, and then I asked them to actually eat the food and give me their feedback…
“The amount is not enough.”
“The metallic smell is too strong.”
“The lid is a pain to open, and so on.”
The response was not very positive. Now, I am in a state of bending forward in utter disappointment. Isla patted me on the shoulder to cheer me up.
“Well, it was obvious that this would happen even if you let people who can eat freshly prepared food as much as they want to eat it. So it’s nothing to worry about.”
“And as for the not-enough-quantity part, all you have to do is increase the size of the can and increase the content. Well, if I recall correctly, for cylinders, if you increase the diameter by 30%, the capacity is almost double, right?”
“That’s right. The metallic smell is probably due to the fact that it was eaten without being heated. If it is heated before eating, the metallic smell will almost completely disappear.”
A fox-beastman alchemist told me so. I see. So it is no good if you eat it as it is?
“As for the trouble of opening the lid, I guess they’re just being lazy… The main advantage of canned food is its long-term preservation and transportability. It is also advantageous that they are made of metal, so they don’t break so easily. Glass jars break easily, and if you try to make them strong, the glass will become thicker and heavier.”
Unlike me, who was being torn to pieces by the straight talk of the soldiers, the reaction of the members of the Research and Development Department was very calm. You guys are very strong.
“We sent it to the front line, or rather to the border security forces and the domestic patrol defense forces, didn’t we? Until we hear back from them, there’s no need to worry about it.”
“Is that what it’s about…?”
“That’s the way it is. But, I mean, it’s been a tremendous help to us, too.”
The Research and Development Department members nodded gravely at the alchemist’s words. Since many people in the Research and Development Department devote themselves to research day and night, many of them have unstable eating habits. Of course, the royal castle in Merinesburg has a well-equipped kitchen and dining room, and chefs with solid skills prepare meals for them, but if they miss mealtime, the kitchen fire will be turned off, so they are served only leftover bread, cheese, and pickled vegetables that can be eaten as is. They are often too lazy to do even that, and with dead eyes, they chomp on the block cookies, dried meat, and dried fruit stored on a shelf in the corner of the room.
However, their situation has changed drastically since we started working on a prototype of canned food. The Research and Development Department has plenty of heat sources to heat up canned foods, so when they are hungry, they can now heat up canned food and have a reasonably tasty meal anytime they want.
“It is ironic that those of us in research are eating closer to the front lines than those in the military.”
“Yes… I like minced meat stew with tomel. It goes well with slightly toasted bread.”
“It is delicious. I like canned salty meat. It goes well with alcohol.”
“Isn’t that too salty…? I like spicy canned beans.”
“Canned peaches are the best.”
The members of the Research and Development Department began to talk passionately about canned foods, and among them, Isla asserted with a can of peaches in her hand. Canned peaches are indeed delicious. In fact, they are delicious when heated up, too. Also, the minced meat stew with tomel flavor is a meat sauce. You can eat it as it is, but it’s supposed to be served over pasta. Well, if you put it on lightly toasted bread, it becomes a kind of meat pie, or pizza toast, or something like that.
“For now, there is no need to change course. We’re going to proceed as is.”
“Is that so…? Well, if everyone says so.”
The metallic smell is a rather fatal flaw in the Liberation Army, where there are many subhumans. If everyone in the Research and Development Department says so, let’s go ahead with the plan.
Another week later. The Research and Development Department members asked the chefs in the kitchen to help them prepare stews, pot-au-feu, and other dishes and began sealing them in cans made with their own hands. They made several magic tools of purification magic for each intensity and made many samples by changing the irradiation time, etc., for the cans containing the same food. For the time being, they are going to see how it goes in one week, one month, and three months. Of course, there are also samples that will be tested for six months and a year.
“By the way, who is going to taste the samples? Are we supposed to do it?”
“No. I’ll ask Lime and the others.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“They said if it was damaged, it wouldn’t upset their stomachs, and they could tell if it was damaged or not.”
Indeed, those girls would not have a stomachache. There is no gastrointestinal tract to break in the first place. In fact, they can handle sewage treatment, so it would not matter if they took in a little bit of damaged food into their bodies.
Just to be safe, ten samples were produced for each of them. Since the irradiation time is divided into three stages by the three purification tools, a total of 450 canned samples have been produced.
“All that remains is to observe each of these cans on a day-to-day basis.”
I checked them one by one and loaded them up, so it’s all right, but just in case, a rabbit-beastman mage with good hearing is checking for any unusual noises by lightly tapping the cans with an iron rod. I had heard that if there was air in the can, it would make a different sound when it was tapped, so I asked the mage, who has good hearing, to do it.
“Hmm. But it’s about time for the report to come back from the front line. Also, we need to start working on the instant noodles.”
The instant noodles are only vaguely clear, to be honest. I vaguely remember that it was steamed and then dried with hot air or fried in oil. The only question is how to deal with the problem of moisture. Even if you make instant noodles, if they get damp, there is nothing to be done. There is no such thing as plastic packaging in this world. In the first place, if there was an alternative to plastic packaging, I would have favored retort pouches.
“But there is the problem of moisture…”
“? We could imprint it on a shelf or a wooden box where we keep the drying technique.”
“It’s used in those food storage cabinets.”
While tilting my head, Isla took me to a shelf in the corner of the Research and Development Department where block cookies and dried meat are stored, opened the door of the shelf, and pointed to a strange magic circle engraved on the back of the door.
“It’s a drying technique imprinted with paint made from crushed magic stone. Depending on the item, it usually lasts about six months without needing any treatment.”
“That’s very convenient!”
If this kind of thing were to be put to practical use on Earth, the companies that make desiccants would probably go bankrupt across the board.
“Not really. It doesn’t work well where there is too much moisture and doesn’t completely prevent humidity. Besides, if the boxes and shelves are too small, it won’t do any good.”
“I see. But if it is in a wooden box with the technique engraved on it, it can be stored away from moisture, can’t it?”
“To some extent, yes. If you really want to keep out moisture completely for a long time, it will cost you a certain amount of money. Originally, it was developed to prevent wheat and other grains from molding due to moisture. It should work for instant noodles, which are made from grain.”
“…Okay, let’s give it a try then.”
Thus began the development of instant noodles.
On the same day, an evaluation of the canned food came back from the front line via golem communication.
“When we heated them over an open flame, they exploded and wreaked havoc.”
“I ate the canned food that I had emptied beforehand because it was too much trouble, and later I got sick to my stomach.”
“I lost my can opener and couldn’t open the cans.”
However, the front line seemed to have a generally favorable evaluation of the food. Many people said they were happy to be able to eat properly seasoned food, so the development of canned food was decided to continue.