Half Sour Pickles Buy Extra Quality
We are going old school, ladies and gentlemen! No vinegar, no canning, no cooking. We are fermenting half sour pickles like its 1899. Don't let the word "fermenting" scare you. We are literally just putting pickles in salt water and letting them sit for a week. If your grandma can do it, you can do it. Don't let granny show you up, I hear she's already talking smack.
half sour pickles buy
Half sour pickles are a popular delicatessen pickle that relies on fermentation rather than white vinegar for its classic sour flavor. As they sit in a saltwater solution they begin to ferment, becoming increasingly sour with each day. Half sours are typically done fermenting 1-2 weeks, however, you can let them ferment longer if you wish. It is all about what tastes best to you. Personally, seven days is my sweet spot.
I always use pickling salt when canning or fermenting. There is no iodine in it or anti-caking agents, so it does not discolor the brine or darken the pickles. In a pinch, you can use table salt, but your pickle quality may suffer a bit. Kosher salt doesn't have iodine in it, but the granules are larger, which makes substituting it more difficult.
There are a couple of easy tricks to ensuring your half-sour pickles are crisp as possible. First, I recommend trimming off the blossom end of the fresh cucumbers. The blossom end contains an enzyme that will soften the pickles, trimming 1/16" is all that is needed to get rid of it. Additionally, I also add pickle crisp to my fermentation, though grape leaves work just as well if you can find them. The tannins keep the pickles crunchy as they ferment.
Fermenting pickles is quite easy to do. To begin, you need a fermentation vessel. Quart jars work for a small test batch, but half gallon jars are considerably better due to their larger size. If you really want to go all out, get a fermentation crock. These things are a little pricier, but they also come with food safe weights to keep the pickles submerged in the brine, plus they just look really cool.
When fermenting pickles it is important to keep the salt to water ratio of your pickling brine the same as you scale the recipe up and down. Therefore I typically add the salt and water directly to my fermentation vessel and then mix it, instead of mixing the salt brine separately and dividing the mixture into my vessels.
Finally, make sure to keep your cucumbers and garlic submerged in the brine. Exposed produce can mold and ruin your whole batch. You can easily keep everything submerged by placing a food safe weight, such as a cabbage leaf, or wax paper, inside the jar. The brine can still flow above the leaf, but the pickles are pushed down. Keep your pickles in the jar at room temperature, covered loosely with a lid on top of the jar in a cool dark place for 7-10 days, then enjoy!
Half sour pickles are made with fresh garlic and pickling spice. However, I have often used this same recipe to make sour dill pickles as well. To do so, simply replace the pickling spice with one or two heads of fresh dill, or you can add dill with the pickling spice.
When you are satisfied with the fermented flavor of your half-sour pickles they can be placed in the refrigerator to slow the fermentation and preserve their flavor. They should be eaten within two weeks, or they will progress into full sour pickles. Refrigerating them does not completely stop fermentation, it just slows it down.
No, I don't recommend attempting to can these pickles. Not only has this recipe not been tested to confirm if it is safe for canning, but you will also lose all of the fermented goodness as soon as it is heated.
Dana -- I ferment my cukes (National Pickling variety) thoroughly, about 21 days. So they are well preserved with the "sour" lactic acid. I have kept them crunchy and tasty in the fridge for six months and longer.
Okay, that's not entirely true; just like my mom (who lived to be just over 100 years of age), I love half-sour pickles. She also used to eat pickled herring in sour cream but I'm not that brave just yet.
This morning I prepared 5 pounds of cucumbers, mixed the brine (I used Kosher salt), added garlic and one hot pepper (minus the seeds), and am on my way to the store to buy mixed pickling spice. I jumped on here to see if there is anything else I need while I'm at the store to make the perfect half-sour pickles. Yes, thank you! Canning weights...or something similar that will get the job done.
Once upon a time, all pickles were fermented. As there were no refrigerators "back then," or fabulous stores stocked with canning jars of every type, pickling by fermentation was the primary method of preserving vegetables. All that was needed then, as now, was a vessel, water, and some salt.
The original, classic pickle is what is known as a full sour pickle. This means that the cucumber has had a long, slow ferment in a very salty brine. As the fermentation progresses, acetobacter begin to proliferate. These are the organisms that make vinegar, so in a sense, a pickle creates it's own vinegar as it ferments. Generally, these pickles were so salty and sour that they were sometimes washed, rinsed, or even soaked before eating, to lessen the intensity.
Half sours are another form of fermented pickle, which, as the name might imply, are roughly half the salt concentration of the full sours, generally around 3 1/2 % salinity in the brine, or 2 TBS of salt per quart of brine. They do not keep for as long as the full sours, but they ferment more quickly and taste less sour on the tongue.
As civilization progressed, and kitchen gadgets began to spread, it became easier and more accessible to preserve the season's produce in a water bath canner. Instead of lengthy fermentation times, a batch of pickles could be processed and put on the shelf in just an hour or two, where they would remain shelf stable for many months to come.
To ensure safety, and to mimic the sour taste of a fermented pickle, vinegar, salt, and spices were added to the jars of canned pickles. Once processed in a water bath canner for 10 minutes, the pickles could be safely stored for a full year at least. Although vinegar itself can contain active cultures that would make it considered probiotic, the process of distillation (for distilled white vinegar) and later, the heat of the water bath canner, kill off any bacteria.
Pickling lime was traditionally used to soak the pickles in before canning, but it is very alkaline--exactly the opposite pH that you are trying to achieve in a pickle. Used properly, with several rinses, this alkalinity can be washed away and neutralized by the vinegar; however, improper handling can lead to pickles that are insufficiently acidic and at risk for botulism, among other issues.
Another method of pickling is to simply soak the pickles in a vinegar brine solution, with whatever spices are desired. This is known as refrigerator pickling. Because the cucumber is neither cooked nor fermented, this is perhaps the crispiest pickle that can be made. However, it must be kept refrigerated at all times, so it is not as useful for preserving large batches of cukes at one time.
And honor the pickle we have. Americans put away more than 2.5 billion pounds of pickles each year, and the North American pickle industry is valued at about $1.5 billion annually, according to Pickle Packers.
Sours and half-sours are the most popular flavors in the New York area, but not so much with out-of-towners, says Stephen Leibowitz, chief pickle maven (the title on his business card) of United Pickle in the Bronx, N.Y., the largest Jewish-owned pickle plant in the country and also one of the oldest. In the Southwest, for example, spicier pickles tend to tempt palates more, according to Pickle Packers, and Leibowitz says that hot and spicy pickle chips are gaining popularity nationwide.
Depending on the type of pickle you want, your pickles will be ready the next day (new or half-sours) or a few months later (full-sours). The longer the pickle stays in the brine, the sourer it will become.
What you may not know, however, is that not all pickles require the canning process. For this Half Sour Refrigerator Pickles Recipe all you need is a large glass jar, some cucumbers, salt, and a few herbs and spices. Pop it in the fridge for a couple weeks, give it a shake every day or so and your pickles are ready to enjoy.
One of my favorite ways to preserve summer's bounty is pickles. While most people think of pickles as the classic dill pickle, you can actually pickle a lot of different vegetables and fruits. You can also use different methods for pickling.
When I have time, I love to can these Simply Good Dill Pickles. If I don't have time to can, I like to make quick refrigerator pickles, like these Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles and these Winey Briney Quick Pickled Asparagus and there is always a jar of these Quick Pickled Onions in my refrigerator.
You can also ferment cucumber to make pickles. The first cucumber pickle that I fermented was Hungarian Summer Pickles. If you didn't see that post, I encourage you to go read it now. I talk about fermenting pickles and what to expect there, so I am not going to go all over it again here.
These pickles are similar to the Hungarian Summer Pickles, except that they are fermented slower. They are not placed in the sun, but allowed to ferment in a cool, dark place. I found them also in The Joy of Pickling. I highly recommend that book if you plan on doing any pickling. It is loaded with information of any kind of pickling you might want to try!
I love the idea of jars on the counter fermenting and becoming ready to eat food. It takes me back to childhood as my folks always had a large crock of something fermenting. Sometimes it was pickles, other times kraut. And frequently home brew in basement, when we had one or the corner of the coolest bedroom. It will be fun to see your chosen recipes from this book.
For more than 5,000 years, vinegar has been made the same way, by the fermentation of natural sugars to alcohol, and then further fermentation to vinegar. Almost anything that contains sugar can ferment into vinegar (beets, molasses, fruit); distilled alcohol is the "sugar" that ferments into the all-purpose white vinegar that we use for everything from washing windows, to killing weeds, to making volcanoes and pickles. 041b061a72