Pickled vegetables and other food items have been around for thousands of years. An ancient form of preservation that preceded modern preservation methods, not only will pickling give you a great source of preserving your own foods, but the pickling process itself will leave you with an extremely flavorful product that can be served on salads, alongside meats and other proteins, or can be eaten by themselves.
We will start with what is considered the strangest of pickled items: pickled meats. While this sounds strange, it is actually a great way to preserve game meats and other proteins, and the flavor is amazing. Probably the most famous “pickled meat” is corned beef. Corned beef is usually cooked, but goes through a pickling process not for preservation, but for added flavor. That distinctive flavor of corned beef is a taste of what you’ll get when you try some of the more obscure pickled meats, so keep an open mind and give a few a try!
Meats That Are Pickled:
- Pickled Kielbasa
- Pickled Bologna
- Pickled Sausages
- Pickled Ham Hocks
- Pickled Octopus
- Pickled Bacon (Harder to find, but delicious)
Pickled vegetables are the most commonly pickled item, with pickled cucumbers commonly referred to as simply “pickles.” There are lots of other vegetables though that are just as delicious and should be more commonly served.
Vegetables That Are Pickled:
- Pickled Okra
- Pickled Cauliflower
- Pickled Peppers (often called peperocini)
- Pickled Eggplant
- Pickled Leeks
- Pickled Beets
- Pickled Celery Sticks
- Pickled Onions
This one might also sound a bit strange, but the tangy flavor of many fruits really comes through well when they are pickled.
Fruits That Are Pickled:
- Pickled Watermelon Rinds (the juice is used as a condiment. Don’t eat the rinds!)
- Pickled Pears
- Pickled Figs
- Pickled Lemons
- Pickled Grapes
- Pickled Mango
- Pickled Pineapple
How To Make Pickling Brine
Pickling brine is really easy to make, it contains only a few ingredients — excluding the items being pickled — and just takes a little bit of time to preserve the items and for them to drink up all the flavor of the brine. The ingredients are always the same, simply keep the same proportions of ingredients and change the amounts to meet the amount of pickling brine that you need.
Ingredients: (For 4 Pounds of Vegetables, Meats, or Fruit)
- 2 3/4 Vinegar (White, White Wine, Red Wine, Rice Wine, or Cider Vinegar) The only type of vinegar that we have found does not work is balsamic vinegar. Each vinegar type will give a different flavor to the pickle.
- 3 Cups of Water
- 1/4 Cup of Sea Salt (It needs to be Sea Salt that is coarse. Iodized salt doesn’t work as well and will leave the brine looking cloudy).
And That Is All There Is To It…
Try out pickling for yourself and have delicious pickled vegetables, meat and fruits year-round for less expense…
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