Monday, September 15, 2008

Pickles, Part Deux

After a week (In the previous post the Rabbi teaching the class recommended a four-day minimum for making pickles), I decided it was time to try the pickles. I did notice that the contents of the plastic "crock" has changed color. Also some of the spices in the pickling mix had soaked in enough moisture to make them sink to the bottom of the container.


Everything smelled OK...while the dill weed that had been placed on top of the pickling mix had now become soggy and unappealing in look, it still smelled like dill. And now I could smell the definite aroma of garlic mixed in with the dill fragrance. Hmmm...dare I try a taste? Sure. Why not?

I cut a small section out of the middle of a slice from one of the cucumbers. At first, I tasted salt. It was almost overwhelming in its intensity. After the salt flavor receded I did notice some of the other spices and the garlic/dill combination coming through. But over all was that heaviness of the salt.
Now I like salt, don't get me wrong, but this was so intense it was startling. I could see where if you left these "pickles" in this brine bath for a long time they would attain a more sour flavor not unlike cabbage turning into sauerkraut. But after embarking on this educational endeavour, I would have to admit that I prefer my pickles with vinegar. I missed the twang that a good apple cider vinegar imparts in a pickle.

Maybe someday I will appreciate a good true Jewish Kosher pickle. For now, I think I'll stick with my Bread & Butters and the "Kosher Dills" preserved in vinegars. Would I take that class again? Ja, sure ting, you betchya! :)






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10 comments:

Sharon said...

I've wondered if those wouldn't be salty. The brined ones Ian bought me from the German deli weren't delicious at all. My favorites are the bread and butter pickles from Trader Joe, any baby koshers and my new favorite it Barrel Pickles by Gundelsheim. What a great experience you had, just the same.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Well, thanks for being our guinea pig, anyway.

Mim said...

It was a good learning experiance and I don't think I'll be giving it a try !

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

They dont look too bad, but I cant handle huge amounts of salt so I can sympathize. Now you need to make some real pickles to sate your pickle craving :)
Orrrr, go to the store and buy a jar of Vlasic Kosher Dills... why is it kosher anyway?

Kathy said...

Becky, it's "kosher" due to it being preserved in salt. From what I learned about the dietary laws of the Jewish religion, salt is used to "make foods pure according to dietary law". Meats are heavily salted to draw out any remaining blood, which is considered non-edible and bad. You'll sometimes see poultry like turkeys around Thanksgiving that have been koshered, meaning placed in a salt brine to "cleanse" the meat.
When I was in the class I began to realize how many foods these people do not eat - all pork, blood sausages in Germany, blood pudding in Britain, etc...the list goes on.
So, I guess the Jewish people have been way ahead of America's Test Kitchen and Alton Brown in brining meats. :)

Dave said...

Hmmm, now I remember as a little boy that my grandmother would brine her pickles first but I remember them have something close to the taste that Klausen's have, and not overpoweringly salty... Sounds like a research project here since I can't ask her...

Pamela said...

This has been so interesting! I remember my mother brining her pickles first, but I think she used a salt and alum solution. Seems I remember thinking that the alum was powdered sugar and dipping a finger in it. Yowee! The word sour doesn't even come close to describing it!

Leigh said...

Interesting. I'm not into salty, but I still might be willing to give this a try sometime. Not soon, but sometime. Thanks for the update!

jennifer said...

Jewish person commenting.

* Brining comes into play only in making meats Kosher-- not in whether any other foods are Kosher. Pickles are inherently Kosher-- they don't need to be made Kosher because as vegetables there's nothing un-Kosher about them unless you do something un-Kosher to them. The "kosher pickle" usage is common but it's not terribly accurate. (Personally, I suspect that the usage derives from the idea that these were the kind of pickles that one could get at a Kosher delicatessen.)

* While it's entirely possible to make Kosher pickles (see, common usage ;)) without vinegar, I have a Jennie Grossinger cookbook here that uses vinegar for pickles. I'd accept Grossinger as an expert.

Kat said...

Thanks for the report! My husband and I were very curious as to how they'd end up tasting. We both agree that the vinegar is an essential part of our pickle experience. I used to be notorious for throwing away the last couple of pickle slices to get the juice. LOL!