Pickling Ingredients


Almost anything that grows in the garden can be pickled. To name a few choices besides cucumbers, there's corn, okra, tomatoes, squash, watermelon, and all sorts of combinations. Just remember that good pickles begin with good-quality produce. This means tender vegetables and firm fruit; the more uniform in size, the better. Uniformity is also something you'll need to keep in mind when chopping or slicing fruit and vegetables for pickling.
One way to make your homemade pickles extra special is to use fresh herbs.
A sprig of fresh dillweed and a fresh bay leaf will make dill pickles taste better and look prettier. Hot red peppers, cloves of garlic, and sprigs of fresh tarragon may be added to tangy pickles for an extra touch of zest.
We suggest that you purchase fresh spices for each pickling season, as spices tend to deteriorate and lose their flavor during storage.
Besides good-quality produce and fresh herbs and spices, you'll want to use vinegar, with 5%% acetic acid. For best color, distilled vinegar is usually recommended. The cider type can be substituted, however, as long as it's 5%% acidity.
You'll also need to buy pickling salt; it acts as a preservative, as well as adds flavor and crispness to the pickles. do not use regular table salt; the additives in this type of salt can cause pickles to be cloudy and discolored. Some older recipes call for soaking the vegetables to be pickled in powdered alum or lime to add crispness to the pickles. If all the other proper ingredients are used, these products will not be necessary.


6.0 servings


Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 2:52am



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