Thursday, December 16, 2010


So I've been working on my pickling technique for about a year. Okra, cucumbers, turnips, kimchi, greens, etc. It's been a little tough, but I think I've got enough down to share some things.

1. Pre-salting is effective. Salting the vegetable in highly salty water for 2-4 hours helps things a lot. It kills a big bunch of the bacteria in the food. Also, you could alternatively add a lot of salt to your pickle, but the amount needed if you are going to do a long-fermentation is enough to make the end product too salty, i mean, do not put this thing in my mouth hot dog it is salty. So yeah, pre-salt, but take it out before the vegetable gets too too limp (you can tell it's done if you take a bite and it's salty all the way through). Otherwise you have a soggy pickle. No one likes a soggy pickle.
2. Ferment that sucker. This is the brilliant and mysterious portion of our saga. By pouring the brine (not the just-used saltwalter) over the pickle and putting a lid on it, reactions start to happen in that mason jar. I would recommend 3 days on the countertop to get things going.
3. Finish fermentation in the fridge. At this point, you could hot water bath the pickle, but I make small batches and put them in the fridge. They keep a long time, so don't worry (assuming you did your salting properly). But the pickle does need about a week more to finish its fermentation, so don't be opening the can and tasting it and then putting it back every day. That messes things up. Once you pickle the first day, the jar should not be opened till 10 days (3 outside and 7 in the fridge) later (fermentation only occurs in the absence of oxygen). The pickle reaches its best flavor around week 3 or 4.

Pickling is going to be an effective way to supplement fresh goods for mx+b. You can obviously can/preserve much more stuff and bring it out to market than you could produce in a day. A different kind of income stream, but one that is really dope because it will also hang out in peoples' fridges longer than a baguette or a muffin.

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