Pickle Making

By: Jose Gonzalez

Since long ago pickling has been done in homes for preserving fruits and vegetables. The earliest form of preserving food is considered to be pickling. Preserving fruits and vegetables longer from the use of salt, sugar and vinegar is something early man discovered. Hence, through the process of pickling food he discovered how to make pickles easily.

Being crunchy and having a wonderful taste is the most important aspect of making pickles. The most important ingredient for this process to take place is salt and not just any ordinary salt. For pickling purposes a special pickling salt is used. Care has to be taken that fruits and vegetables are fresh, about medium sized and a bit thick skinned in case of limes, before chosen for pickling.

In making pickles some of the equipment that is required is generally the same for all pickles. Only the spices and the fruit may vary. The equipment includes jars with lids, pickling salt, fruit or vegetables to be pickled, spices such as mustard seeds, cumin seeds, allspice, cloves, garlic, etc, oil, vinegar, water bath, etc. There are different types of pickle that can be made. How to make cucumber pickles is explained below;

Remove the top and the bottom of each of cucumber and make sure to wash them well. Add salt to a tub or sink and place them in it. Remove the cucumbers in about 2 hours and discard the liquid. In a large cooking pot, mix well mustard seeds, vinegar, sugar, water, and other ingredients mentioned as per the specific recipe. Put the cucumbers in sterilized jars and pour the hot mixture over them leaving just half a centimeter space at the top. Place the jars in boiling water for about 10 minutes for further process. For 2 months store in a cool and dark place and then the pickle is ready to consume.

Another kind of pickle is sweet pickles. They are made with almost the same ingredients as a cucumber pickle except that the quantity of sugar used is much higher in sweet pickles.

How to make pickles with lime? The ingredients used for lime pickles are lemons, sugar, salt, spices, oil, chili powder and ginger. Making these kinds of pickles is a very easy job. Cut in quarters are the lemons. Mixed well in a cooking pot all the other ingredients. Boil the mixture. The limes are placed in sterilized jars and the mixture is added to it. In a period of 8 weeks the pickle is ready to consume.

The ingredients may change, but pickles recipes in general are very easy and simple to make. Hence, a number of variations can be easily tried while making pickles. Of utmost importance is the taste and flavor of the pickles, which depends on the ingredients. Careful selection of ingredients is required.

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