I can't believe how time flies - this post is already my 5th "Contributing Angel" post (Thank you again to my friend Angel for allowing me to contribute to your amazing blog!)
Today we are going to talk about Pickling. I grew up eating my mom's homemade dill pickles made from my dad's homegrown organic cucumbers. And I can remember helping my mom tightly pack those canning jars full of spices, cukes and dill (and of course now every summer I make my own pickles using my mom's recipe). Nothing says summer like entering your home and being greeted by that wonderful aroma of vinegar, spices and dill!
Pickling History: "Pickling" is the process of preserving food with fermentation and a vinegar brine that can be sour & salty or sour, sweet & salty. I didn't realize this but the Art of Pickling began 4000 years ago in India! I have always thought of Pickling as a European art form. The name "Pickle" however is derived from the Dutch word "Pekel" (which means brine).
In North America "Pickles" usually mean pickled cucumbers but I pickle many other vegetables like cauliflower, green beans, peppers, corn (as corn relish) and then don't forget about cabbage (sauerkraut). But today I'm going to focus on the Pickled Cucumber. There are 3 main types of Pickled Cucumber listed below (there is a link to my recipe for each type of pickle - ENJOY!):
CROCK PICKLES - This type of pickle is made in a old fashioned "crock". This really is the healthiest type of pickle because it is fermented and has the same beneficial bacteria as yogurt (even more than what yogurt contains). Fermented foods are said to be beneficial for digestion and help with nutrition absorption. They are also high in enzymes which also increase gut health (again - I'm NOT a doctor - please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this post).
Click HERE for my Crock Pickle Recipe
DILL PICKLES - This is the most traditional type of pickle combining sour and salty. Dill and cucumbers were meant to be together. This type of pickle is made with a vinegar brine rather than the fermentation process mentioned above (Crock Pickles). I have recreated my mom's dill pickle recipe and made it spicy!
Click HERE for my Spicy Dill Pickle Recipe
BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES - This type of pickle combines sour, salty & sweet flavors (there is NO dill in this type of pickle). The Bread & Butter Pickle is also made in a vinegar brine instead of the fermentation process. I looked up the history of the name "Bread & Butter" Pickles and found a few possible answers: 1. They are as sweet as "Bread & Butter" 2. During the Depression pickles were as common as "Bread & Butter"
It doesn't matter how they originated - just know that they are delicious!
Click HERE for my Bread & Butter Pickle Recipe
If you have never pickled your own produce before - please do so!!! It tastes better, is healthier & will save you money! The first time pickling your own food might be a little scary but after that it becomes second nature (if you have any questions I'd be happy to try to help).