How To Choose The Best Pickling Spice

Increasing numbers of people are preserving food at home now rather than buying processed foods. Not only is preservation an important way to cut down on waste it is also a great way to stay healthy through the winter months. Making pickles is easy and if you buy prepared pickling spice it is even easier but less versatile. Making your own mix is the best way to please your taste buds.

Many people are coming to the conclusion that industrial foods are harmful when they make up the bulk of the diet. Five minutes online is long enough to see just how many people are looking to the past to regain lost skills in cooking and healthy living. This movement is taking traditional wisdom and updating it for the modern age.

The most popular pickles are usually vegetables but almost anything can be preserved in this way. Meat, fruits, fish, herbs, garlic, ginger and chili can all be turned into flavorful pickles. The basic technique is to create a brine of salt and or vinegar which kills the bacteria in the food. Once prepared some can last for years.

In Asian cooking the principle of balancing the main tastes, sweet, salty, bitter and sour guides all meal design. Sometimes those flavors are added to one dish but more often an assortment of dishes are served together to bring a harmony to the whole meal. In European cuisine pickles are most often served with creamy things such as cheese or smoked salmon.

Using salt causes fermentation which encourages the growth of good bacteria which basically pre-digest the food. Sauerkraut and kimchi are popular version of fermented pickles. They are thought to be excellent for general health as they help the stomach digest foods and protect the good bacteria in our gut. Vinegar pickles also have health benefits, especially when they contain raw vegetables. This is a great way to enjoy the nutrients of plants even when nothing is growing. Raw fruits and vegetables prepared this way retain their antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

The process can take months or just a few minutes. Quick pickles can be made by heating the solution of vinegar, sugar and spices and then adding vegetables for a few minutes. They are not preserved in the same way and must be eaten straight away but are a lovely was to add acidity to a dish.

Adding aromatics in the form of spices takes pickles to another level. Usually they are used in their whole form. Many grocers & delicatessens sell prepared mixes. However, it is easy to make them and then the flavor can be adjusted to individual preferences.

Prepared mixes do not allow for experimentation or personal preference. If you have lots of spices at home anyway then why not just make your own? This allows you to play around with the flavors and make pickles in any style from around the world. The main thing to bear in mind is that whole spices work better than ground ones.

Choosing spices for a pickle depends on the main ingredient itself and the type of cuisine the pickle comes from. However, personal taste can also play a large role. There is no point making something that you and your family are not going to eat just because it is in a recipe. Pickles are a versatile ingredient so let your taste buds be your guide.

Read more about How To Choose The Best Pickling Spice Mixtures.

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