|a pickling cucumber|
What's the difference between lactic fermented pickles and vinegar pickles?
Lactic fermentation is the traditional method of preserving vegetables using naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria to partially digest the vegetables and produce additional nutrients. This also increases the acid content of the brine, which acts to preserve the vegetables against infestation of pathogenic or food spoilage bacteria. When food started to be mass produced it was much easier and quicker to use vinegar directly to preserve food (lactic fermentation takes several days or weeks vs a few hours in vinegar), but this short-cut means that we don't get the benefit of the bacteria starting the digestion and converting the nutrients. Fermented foods are known to add digestion and strengthen the immune system, but now we are all so used to vinegar pickling, most people don't even realise that lactic fermentation is the traditional method of making pickles (I didn't know until recently) and certainly don't know about the health benefits.
So you can see why I was keen to try lactic fermented pickles as soon as I had enough from my three little vines! Previous lactic fermentation attempts were sauerkraut and fermented beverages, which I was a bit nervous about eating, but I'm think I'm getting used to this now.....
|a baby gherkin, awwww|
|Pickles in the jar and starting to ferment (I hope)|
|When I'd finished I found this GIANT gherkin on the vine, oops!|
I'll chop that up and ferment it as slices with the next batch....
unless the seeds are big and then I'll save them for growing more.
And three days later.....
|I took this very out of focus photo of the jar, actually the colour |
has got a little duller, but still looks quite green
Have you tried making fermented pickles? or anything else fermented?
See my updated pickle method and more on fermentation.