When pickling cucumbers, most of us follow a recipe used for generations. However, even if we follow all the points described, we can make mistakes that can compromise the final taste of these pickled vegetables. Which are the most common ones?
It is said that repetition is the mother of wisdom. However, we can also repeat mistakes, often unknowingly. Even the most elaborate recipe may not always take into account details that will greatly affect the outcome. When pickling cucumbers, many such details matter – from the type of salt used to the size of the cucumbers.
The type of cucumber matters
There is no such thing as a cucumber. Not all varieties of this gourd-like crop are suitable for pickling. Large pieces in particular are not suitable for this purpose at all. So which cucumbers are best suited? We should especially choose small and young ones. The age of the cucumbers is indicated by the colour of the skin – the younger the cucumber, the lighter the colour. Young cucumbers will have the right firmness and flavour when pickled.
What to avoid? The origin of the cucumber deserves attention. We should forget about those from supermarkets – that is where we find the older ones most often. These vegetables are best obtained directly from the grower or from a greengrocer. When selecting, look carefully at the individual pieces and ask when they were harvested.
When to load?
In general, it is best to pickle cucumbers as soon as possible after buying them. The longer you wait, the worse the taste risks getting. It is best to cover the cucumbers with cold water as soon as you return from buying them. Leave them like this for at least 6 hours.
Watch out for this – type of salt and inappropriate seasoning
To enhance the proper processes, which include fermentation, special salt should be used. A suitable type is iodine-free rock salt. Ordinary table salt, on the other hand, can inhibit the necessary processes.
The resulting taste can also be adversely affected by inappropriate spice selection. Many people add black pepper, bay leaves or allspice to their pickles. These spices have one thing in common – their prolonged stay in water can cause bitterness in cucumbers.
Few people associate pickles with sugar. And it’s essential. A pinch of sugar gives the cucumbers the right flavour and preserves them effectively.
Storage pitfalls – what is the best temperature?
After pickling in a mixture of vinegar, salt, sugar and other spices, jars of pickles should be kept at room temperature – and for 3 days. This will speed up the fermentation process. Then move them to a cooler place. Its temperature should be around 15 °C.