I do not like dill pickles – never have and yet, I love the herb dill. However, it occurred to me that I might like them if I lacto-fermented them.
If you think that the dill pickles you buy in the stores are a traditionally fermented product, you would be mistaken. Most pickles are made by heating white vinegar which is then poured on the cucumbers in a jar. The lid is quickly applied so that the heat from the vinegar can then create a vacuum inside the jar and prevent any mold or bad bacteria from growing inside since nothing grows in a vacuum.
Often the cucumbers are blanched to soften the skin a bit to aid the absorption of the flavour into the pickle. Blanching is a process of dipping pickles into boiling hot water for about 2-3 minutes. This means the pickles will lose enzyme content both from the blanching and from the hot vinegar.
By lacto-fermenting the pickles, a true fermented product is created. The pickles will be a source of good bacteria and the nutrients of the cucumbers will be made more bioavailable. What more can you ask of a pickle.
So here are three different ways to lacto-ferment cucumbers into dill pickles. Give it a try since this is the perfect time for year to find the little cucumbers that are needed. Try your grocery store or a local farmers market. Here are 3 different recipes:
Method 1: Traditional Brine
Method 2: Apple Cider Vinegar As Starter
Method 3: Sauerkraut Juice As Starter
Here is the video to show you how:
For more instructional videos for fermentation and to learn more about the history and health benefits of fermented foods, check out The Simply Fermentation Online Workshop