Sunday, 10 September 2017

In A Pickle: Round Three

It's been a week, folks. That same jar of pickles that I created would be tested once again tonight as I hoped that the chemical reaction in the lacto-fermentation had set in and really soured the cucumbers. In the last taste test, there was good crunch to the pickle, but the cucumber still had a distinctive sweetness that was indicative of the process needing more time. I pledged a week of extra time, and here we are with another taste test! Like I asked before, would I poison myself? Would end up with sort of superpower? It's pickle time!

Once again, I should go over the controls used in this recipe. I made five jars of similar size and contents using old glass pickle jars, so that variable should be fairly controlled. The temperature in my house, thanks to air conditioning, remained between 19.5°C and 22.5°C for all five jars, so this control is also fairly controlled. And all ingredients were carefully checked and measured before being added to the jars including the brine that was made, so this variable is fairly controlled as well.

If you notice, there are two pickles on the cutting board. I figured that if the taste-test pickle went well, I should probably have a celebratory spear. Does that make sense? No. But they're my pickles and I'll enjoy them as I like. Well, if they're good. If they're not, I guess I just toss them back.

Before I get to the results, the carbon dioxide produced inside the jar from the lacto-fermentation process was all but done by the time today arrived. Burping the jars hardly seemed necessary, but I'd rather do that than clean up shards of glass, brine, and pickles due to an explosion. Being that the carbon dioxide production had all but stopped, it seems that the lacto-fermentation process was taken to completion. With the chemistry done, all that remained was the taste test.

You know what? They're pretty good! The crunch was less than expected - the extra time may have let the tannins wear off - but the sour taste of the pickle was distinct. The dill flavour isn't like a vinegar-based dill pickle in that it's far more subtle, but the sour taste of the pickle combined with the salty brine makes up for what one usually expects in a dill pickle. Overall, they are more like deli pickles in that they aren't dill pickles, but sour pickles.

Make no mistake - I had both pickles. They are delicious, and I imagine they'll remain at their crunchiness level once they go into the fridge tonight. While the dill seed and garlic used in the recipe does add a slight dill-pickle flavour, it's subtle rather than being overwhelming as some pickles are. I have to say that rather being that acidic vinegar pickle, these lacto-fermented pickles are a refreshing and delicious change for those who like a good deli pickle. It's not overly salty, and while the sourness isn't overwhelming it really is the star of this pickle recipe.

Overall rating: I'd say I earned Pickle Rick status!

That status might be a long-winded explanation, but let's just say that Rick turns himself into a pickle to avoid going to family therapy. Craziness ensues. In the end, my pickles are nothing like Pickle Rick, but they might be as sour!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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