Everybody Loves Pickles!
Pickles can add the perfect amount of sour and spice flavour to a burger. People also use them in making deli sandwiches. These days, pickles also add to the taste of chicken sandwiches. Did you know that in America, pickles are nothing but cucumbers? In Canada and the United States, ‘pickles’ always mean pickled cucumbers unless specified otherwise. Brine, a particular solution, is used for preserving the pickles.
This solution is made of salt, vinegar, and certain special seasonings. As per the experts, people across the globe eat around five million pounds of pickle every day!
History of Pickles
Even though the process of preserving pickles may sound complicated, it gets comfortable with practice. Pickling has been around since ancient times. It was more than 2,000 years ago, and the Mesopotamians made the first pickles ever. Cucumbers from India were put to use for the first process of cucumbers. In recent times, pickling has turned into a more automated procedure. Companies are making more pickles than ever before, thanks to particular machines and the latest technology. However, there have been very few changes in the primary process over the years.
The Components of a Pickle
Cucumbers are the main ingredient in a pickle. You need to add vinegar or acetic acid to them. It makes up for the most content and is the most important ingredient. Water followed by vinegar makes up for most of the pickle juice. Even the sour taste of the pickle gets a kick from it. Many people also add artificial sweeteners or sugar. It might lower the sour taste of the vinegar. You can also add salt to enhance the taste.
The Process of Making a Pickle
The cucumbers with vinegar, water, and salt, turn into pickles over time. Other ingredients become components of the juice in which the pickle is stored. There are particular kinds of pickles that have some other ingredients too. This includes dill weed in dill pickles, cinnamon, allspice, garlic, cloves, and black pepper. Finally, you need to add stabilizers, preservatives, and even colourants to increase the batches’ consistency and lengthen shelf life. (See What Is Mustard Made Of?)
Pickling in Korea
Fermented vegetables are famous in Asian nations as well. Kimchi is the general name people use for certain acid-fermented vegetables that hold a long tradition in Korea. Kimchi is regarded as a staple Korean cuisine and is primarily made from Korean radish and napa cabbage, A wide variety of seasonings, including salted seafood (jeotgai), ginger, chilli powder (gochugaru), garlic, and spring onions. Kimchi is also added to various types of soups. You can find this traditional Korean side dish in various variants made with several other vegetables as its main ingredients. These days, we see Koreans use kimchi refrigerators for storing kimchi.
In earlier times, kimchi was traditionally stored in big earthenware to stop it from freezing in the colder months. It was the primary way to store vegetables in all seasons. During the summertime, this in-ground storage helped keep the kimchi cool enough to slow the fermentation process.
Some Facts about Pickles
When vegetables are pickled in a salt solution instead of vinegar, the lactic acid produced by fermentation in the brine carries forward preservation action. Generally, vegetables get into the making of pickles, but even meat, eggs, or fish also become a pickling subject. When any kind of meat is pickled, the process is usually known as curing. Most primary vegetables can be pickled and preserved, either in households or commercially.
In Western countries, the most pickled food items are green olives, cabbage, and cucumbers. Beans, carrots, capers, onions, garlic, and other vegetables also get pickled but in lesser quantities.