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Thu, 07 Aug 2008 06:02:00 +0000

Pickling is a method used to preserve food stuffs. The food items are placed in various liquids such as oil or vinegar to help preservation. Since ancient times, people have devised different ways to preserve and pickle foods so that during famines or long winters food is not a problem. The earliest example of preserving food dates back to the period when the construction of the Great Wall of China was going on. The workers thrived on sauerkraut which is a type of fermented cabbage. Pickling of food not only preserves food but also changes the flavor and the taste of the food that is being pickled.

The pickle making process began since the year 2030 BC. The pickles were prepared from cucumbers whose seeds were brought by the people from Northern India to the Tigris valley. From then various experiments were tried to preserve cucumbers. And the most recent one that using brine was also invented and became very famous. Earlier America was known for pickles. It is also believed that sour pickles help in balancing the acid and alkaline content of the human body which destroys the bacteria in the digestive tract. Pickles played a very important role in folk medicine.

Pickles are a type of food that is eaten all around the world and is very famous. Pickling is an easy process and is also known as corning or brining. In different parts of the world the same pickle is prepared in different ways. In America and United Kingdom pickle is made using cucumbers in vinegar solution. On the other hand in India and other South Asian countries pickle is made using fruits such as raw mango, lime etc. in oil and salt mixture.

Pickling cucumber is also a common practice in America. The other ingredients are vinegar and spices such as cloves, garlic, mustard or ginger. The brine solution helps preserve food using the anaerobic fermentation which results in pickle. A sour taste in developed as a result. Fermentation causes longer life of the pickle.

In India pickles are made as a side dish. Many fruits and vegetables such as limes, raw mango, pumpkins, rose petals, cauliflower, radish, onion etc. Some pickles are also made using fish as the major ingredient. In India, it is known as “achar”. Oil is used for preserving the food and a variety of spices such as cloves, cumin seeds, turmeric, asafetida, salt etc.

The different types of pickles that are eaten all around the world are as follows;
Gherkin is a pickle made of cucumber and vinegar. A kosher dill pickle is made under the supervision of a rabbi which ensures that the non kosher food and utensils do not come in contact with the kosher ones. A substantial amount of garlic is used in making these pickles. Polish and Swedish style pickles are made from cucumbers and are famous in Europe. Indian pickles consist mainly of pickles made of lime and raw mango. Other fruits and vegetables are also used. Bread and butter pickles are the sweet pickles and are served with sandwiches or burgers. Pickles are thus a world famous recipe and are liked by all.

All about pickles

Sat, 02 Aug 2008 15:57:00 +0000

Dill pickles are considered to be a kind of delicacy in America. It is served as a snack or an appetizer. Dill pickle recipe is quite easy to follow. The ingredients required for making dill pickles are as follows;1. 3 to 4 kilo grams moderate sized cucumbers (about 10 cm long)2. 4 cups white vinegar used for pickling3. 12 cups water4. 2 small sized hot peppers (may be dried or fresh ones)5. 2/3 cup salt used for pickling (Take care that the salt is coarse)6. 16 garlic pieces (peeled and cut in halves)7. 8 stems of fresh weeds of dill8. 8 heads of fresh weeds of dillThe dill pickle recipe is as follows;1. Wash cucumbers well. Remove the ends of the cucumbers which may have dirt in them. Place these washed cucumbers in a tub or a sink full of cold water with ice cubes. Soak them in this cold water for about 2 hours and not more than that. Change the ice cubes as frequently as required.2. Mix vinegar, water, peppers and the salt used for pickling in a large pot. Stir the mixture well. Place this pot on a medium flame. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil.3. Sterilize the jars in which the pickles are to be stored. For sterilization, place the jars and their lids in boiling water for about 10 minutes. The sterilization is done to avoid contamination and ensuring longer life of the pickles.4. In each jar, put 2 half cut cloves of garlic, one head of dill, and then required cucumbers so that the jar is filled. After placing the cucumbers, place 2 more half cut garlic cloves, 1 fresh sprig of dill.5. After adding all the ingredients, put the hot mixture removed from the flame in the jars slowly. Seal the jars by tightly placing the lids. The rims of the lids should also be cleaned to remove any dirt or residues.6. Place the lidded jars in boiling water tub or a water bath. Let the jars boil for about 15 minutes.7. The pickles must be stored for at least 2 months (8 weeks) before consuming. After the storing period ends, the pickles must be refrigerated.8. Place the pickles in cool and dry place so that they last longer, generally up to 2 years.The shelf life of the dill pickles is at least 1 ½ to 2 years. The dill pickles can be eaten directly or with some main course dishes. Dill pickles are very tasty to eat. Dill pickle recipe is easy and can be done at home. However, it does take a long time to get ready to consume. But the wait is worth whileCanning pickles is a very important process which must be done with great care and precision. Pickles need to be canned well before they are consumed. Storage of pickles is done in cans so that they are ready to be eaten. Canning pickles is a long procedure and involves the following steps;1. Bring together all the utensils and equipment necessary while canning pickles. Clean the equipment well. Ensure that the utensils are functional and not broken or chipped.2. The pickle barrels and jars must be examined minutely for any cracks, scratches or chippings. The bands of the lids must also be examined properly.3. It is recommended that the jars be washed in hot water with a bit of soap in it. Allow them to boil properly. Heating of the jars is necessary as it enables forming an air tight seal and thus prevents any sort of contamination of the pickle.4. Dry the bands of the jars as well as lids.5. Follow the recipe of the pickle to be made. When the pickle is ready, carefully place it inside the jars. Remove any air bubbles with the help of a spoon or a spatula.6. Lid the jars firmly and tightly. Rubber bands may be used for securing the lids well in place.7. Wipe the jars and the lids with a damp cloth to remove any residue. Residue may cause improper sealing which may prove dangerous.8. Additional processing is required. This is done by placing the jars in simmering water for about 10 minutes until it comes to a boil. This additional processing ensures killing of microbes. After this processing when the jars are cooled, they become air tight and thus microbes are prevented from entering the inside of the jars. The heat should be properly adjusted and should not[...]