Traditionally Fermented Pickles

| 8/4/2011 11:30:00 AM

A portrait of Susy, the author of Chiots Run.Traditionally fermented food are super healthy.  It's always nice when you can make something using these methods.  Not only is it quick and easy to make, the end product is healthier than it's more time-consuming processed counterpart.  Pickles are a prime example.  I make one kind of vinegar pickles that are canned.  The rest of the pickles I make are fermented.  Basically you put the pickles in a jar with whatever herbs you want to flavor them and cover them with salt water.  A few weeks later you have a probiotic feast!  Adding fermented pickles to your meals will help with digestion and increase the amount of nutrients you can absorb from what you eat.

Traditionally fermented pickles 

When it comes to making pickles there are a few things you want to consider.  First of all, you don't want the cucumbers to be too large.  The smaller the cucumbers the crisper the end product with be.  You want the cucumbers to have distinct warts or bumps and no yellow on them.  The smaller they are the less developed the seeds will be inside as well.  Freshness also counts, if you can process them the same day you pick them that's best.  If you can't process them right away make sure to put them in the refrigerator to keep them cool and process as soon as possible. The cucumber on the left is perfect for pickling, the one of the right is a little overmature (but you can still use it if you'd like).  You can still use it for pickling, but there will be more seeds and the final product most likely won't be as crisp.  

A cucumber perfect for pickling on the left, the one on the right is a little overmature 

Second you want to make sure you scrub the blossom end of the cucumber well.  It is believed that it can harbor bad bacteria increasing the risks that your batch will not ferment properly.  It is also thought that it can make your pickles not as crisp.  Some people cut the blossom end of the pickle off, I simply scrape it with my nail until I can see the clean end of the cucumber.  You can see the different between a cucumber with the blossom end cleaned (left) and one that hasn't been cleaned enough (right). 

Blossom ends of cucumbers, left, cleaned enough, right, needs more cleaning. 

9/8/2011 4:50:19 AM

Does it matter if the weather is warm when fermenting? I would love to try this but thought the temp needed to be cool to ferment.

Nebraska Dave
8/6/2011 9:40:50 PM

Susy, fermented pickles, huh. I'd have to taste one before I tried to make some. It sounds like something my grandma would have done. She had the big crocks but by the time I got old enough to know what they were for they had given up the farm life and moved to the city. Luckily my uncle took over the farm and I was exposed to farm life every summer for many wonderful years. My uncle's wife didn't can much or ever use the crocks to ferment that I can remember. She was a modern day farmer's wife and froze everything. She had rented lockers in the local small town to store frozen vegetables, fruits, and meat long term. A fairly large freezer on the closed in front porch housed the day to day food for the month. It worked for her. As for me, I'm a person that likes to can. The power grid here has not been the best the last few years and I suspect it will only get worse. Have a great fermenting day.

Robyn Dolan
8/5/2011 4:13:02 PM

Mmm...sounds good! I will have to check out the Joy of Pickling. Love fermented foods;)

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters