Pickling is one of the oldest forms of food preservation in the world. It dates back to the dawn of civilization, thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia. Today, more than 67% of all households in the U.S. eat pickles. In fact, Americans consume more than nine pounds of pickles per person every year.
I love pickles. From sandwiches to salads, to casseroles or right out of the jar, I put pickles on everything. Many people think of cucumbers or other vegetables when talking about pickles, but fruits can make excellent pickles as well. If you’ve never pickled fruit before, you’re in for a treat. The naturally sweet and tart flavor of fruit pairs beautifully with a pickled brine.
Fruit pickles make excellent additions to sandwiches or salads, as well as the perfect accompaniment to a savory or earthy casserole.
PICKLING PANTRY STAPLES
Making a pickle brine is super easy with a little bit of know-how. Once you know the basics, you’ll be able to start experimenting with combinations based on your own creativity and tastes.
Generally speaking, pickling liquid begins with a ratio of three parts water to one part vinegar. Next, a blend of spices is added, along with a bit of sweetness. The end flavor of the fruit will be determined by the types and style of vinegar you choose to pickle in. Are you looking for a basic, mild vinegar? White distilled vinegar is your choice. Will you be making Asian-spiced pickles? Rice wine vinegar is what you need. You can get as simple or as creative as you like.
Here are some common pickling ingredients to keep in your pantry:
- White Distilled Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- White Wine Vinegar
- Rice Wine Vinegar
- Black peppercorns
- Dill seeds
- Celery seeds
- Mustard seeds
- Coriander seeds
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Dried bay leaves
- Whole allspice berries
- Cardamom seeds
- Cinnamon Sticks
Other Essential Ingredients
- Pickling salt
- Fresh Herbs (Rosemary, sage, thyme, dill, garlic etc.)
- Sweetener (Sugar or syrup)
Fruit Pickling Tips
- Use the freshest fruit possible.
- Keep the fruit in the fridge until ready to pickle to ensure the fruit remains crisp.
- Taste the fruit prior to pickling to determine the proper ratio of sweet and acid against the natural sugar and/or tart of the fruit.