Kitchen Garden

Fermenting a Path

Bacteria at Work
Bacteria at Work

LAKE MACBRIDE— People are surprised that I’m making pickles without vinegar. Truth be told, until this summer, every pickle I have made was with vinegar, and the results were not optimal, with jars of sliced pickles lingering on in the refrigerator— I quit canning them years ago. Using the fermentation process, the results are so good, I may be fermenting a path to addiction. So what’s different?

It is the lactic acid created by bacteria action that preserves the cucumbers and provides their distinctive pickle flavor. This instead of the acetic acid of vinegar. Basically, waves of different bacteria become active in the salt brine and transform the cucumbers.

The process is so easy, and the results so good, I needed a bigger crock. If you want to try them, I used a celebrity chef recipe which readers can find here.

Time to skim the scum, if you know what I mean.