Three Tips for Making Crunchy Lacto-fermented Dill Pickles
Vinegar-brined pickles are one of the most popular and well-known preserved vegetables. They are super acidic, tangy, sometimes spicy, and definitely crunchy.If you’ve grown up eating vinegar pickles and then begin making and eating fermented pickles, you might be a bit disappointed with mushy pickles. In fact, is a mushy pickle is not a fun pickle, despite how good the flavors are or how healthy the pickle is for you.
So if you are interested in making delicious crunchy lacto-fermented dill pickles full of yummy flavor, try these tips:
With these tips in mind, you should be able to achieve the crunch that is so desirable in a pickle.
Why Lacto-fermented Pickles are Superior
Before canning, dilled cucumber pickles were lacto-fermented. There was no canning process (or oodles of cheap vinegar) available to make the vinegar-brined pickles.
Instead, pickles were made in large crocks and stored underground in a cellar or a cave. These crocks were filled with the cucumber harvest, mixed with some herbs and spices, and covered in a salty brine. They were then weighted down to keep the brine above the pickles.
Placed in a cool cellar, the temperature remained consistent and cool enough to create a tangy, bubbly fermented pickle. These pickles were full of enzymes, beneficial organisms, and tart delicious flavor.
They could then be kept for months in the root cellar. Every so often the crock was uncovered, any froth removed from the crock, and the pickles were removed and eaten. The lactic acid and beneficial bacteria would keep these pickles healthy and delicious.
And, of course, the wild grape leaves kept them crunchy!