PICK­LED FRUITS AND VEG­ETA­BLES

PEO­PLE ARE MOV­ING FOR­WARD BY GO­ING BACK TO BA­SICS. FROM BAK­ING BREADS AT HOME TO EN­JOY­ING CLAS­SIC COCK­TAILS, THEY ARE NOW PICK­LING AND PRE­SERV­ING

F&B World - - NEWS - Text and Recipe by JOSH BOUT­WOOD Photo by NICCO SAN­TOS

Why pick­led food is gain­ing more real es­tate on din­ers’ plates

Presently, chefs every­where are try­ing to con­vince din­ers to en­joy pick­led fruits and veg­eta­bles. On its own, it can be a hard sell, but when served and plated with other items, they re­al­ize and ap­pre­ci­ate what it brings to the ta­ble.

Apart from im­part­ing a sweet and sour taste, the fer­men­ta­tion process al­lows for eas­ier ab­sorp­tion of vi­ta­mins and nu­tri­ents. While the salt, a key in­gre­di­ent in the pick­ling liq­uid, pro­hibits bad mi­crobes from form­ing colonies, it al­lows the good mi­crobes to flourish, thanks to a process called difFusión.

Vine­gar pick­les re­quire the ad­di­tion of vine­gar to bring down the pH level of the so­lu­tion. Fer­mented pick­les, mean­while, rely on good germs to pro­duce an acid, which, in turn, low­ers the pH level. This re­quires good tem­per­a­ture, lit­tle light, and, above all, time.

At my restau­rant, The Test Kitchen, we pre­dom­i­nantly use a quick pickle process and de­pend­ing on the in­gre­di­ent, we can achieve amaz­ing tex­ture and fla­vor within a win­dow of just a few hours. A vac­uum ma­chine helps but is not ne­c­es­sary.

With only three in­gre­di­ents (vine­gar, sugar, and water), you can cus­tom­ize a pickle blend that suits your palate with­out hav­ing to worry about bad mi­crobe growth.

Sim­ple pickle so­lu­tion: 1 part vine­gar ½ part water ½ part sugar

De­pend­ing on how sweet you like it you can ei­ther add more or less sugar. The same goes for how sour you like your pick­les: Add more vine­gar to in­ten­sify the sour­ness or add more water to abate the sour­ness. In ad­di­tion, cus­tomiz­ing your own pick­ling liq­uid is as easy as adding a few aro­matic in­gre­di­ents, which can in­clude gar­lic, lemon zest, fresh herbs, black pep­per, mus­tard seeds, and spices.

Hope­fully, these tips and tricks will in­spire you to grab a jar and start pick­ling. Or at least, be open to eat­ing pick­led foods when din­ing out.

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