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Pickling Your Garden’s Bounty

Pickles are more than just cucumbers flavored with dill. Pickles are more than just cucumbers flavored with dill.


There’s a sour side to every summer barbeque. It might be Uncle Ted, who always has a few too many beers, but if you’re lucky, it’ll be a sliver of dill cozying up to that juicy burger and salty potato chips. 

Combining the American palate’s penchant for increasingly big and bold flavors with the DIY craze sweeping the nation, pickled and other sour foods have been hitting the top of dining trend lists. Pickling, which encompasses everything from standard dills to sauerkrauts, fruit pickles and relishes, is a method of preserving with brine or vinegar. 

As acidity increases during curing, colors and flavors change until fruits and veggies are left with that signature tart, briny zing that adds a burst of flavor to everything from sandwiches and salads to soufflés and grilled meats.

Like many good trends, pickling is a revival of an ancient practice, one that’s been put to use in various ways around the world.

There are two basic pickling methods: a quick pickle, where food is preserved in vinegar for just a few hours or overnight, and brining, where over the course of a few days or months, raw vegetables are encouraged to ferment. Regular dill pickles and sauerkraut, for instance, both take about three weeks to cure, while other vegetables, like cauliflower, carrots, and beets, can be flash-pickled in just a few hours. 

Today’s pickling trend, however, isn’t just about preserving the best of summer, it’s about experimenting with various fruits and vegetables or varying the consistency of spices and brine. 

Habanero, rooibos tea, and star anise now join the traditional pickling medley of mustard seed, celery seed, black pepper, and thyme, while chefs experiment with pickling everything from red wine-infused Asian pears to fennel flowers and green strawberries.

Like many good trends, pickling is a revival of an ancient practice, one that’s been put to use in various ways around the world. Whether Korean kimchi, pickled herring from Scandinavia, miso pickles from Japan, chutney from India, or a good old dilly from New York City, your next peck might just be a pickled one.

© Copyright RosebudMag.com, 2013



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Get into some serious pickling!
Last modified on Monday, 14 October 2013 19:31

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