Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pickle Pointers

Pickle Pointers

Cucumbers are ripening in Northeast Wisconsin. It’s time to think about making pickles. Here are some tips for making successful pickled products.
• Grow or purchase varieties of cucumber that are designed for pickling. These varieties will yield a high quality product. Fresh-eating “slicing” varieties and “burpless” cucumbers can be used in relishes or for quick process bread-and-butter pickles, but are not suitable for fermented pickles or fresh pack dill pickles. Wax coated cucumbers bought from supermarkets are not suitable for pickling because of varietal qualities and because the pickling solution cannot penetrate the wax coating.
• Softened water is recommended for making pickles and relishes.
• Firming agents such as calcium hydroxide (lime) and aluminum (alum) are not necessary for pickling and are no longer recommended.
• Canning and pickling salt is recommended for use in all kinds of pickles. This salt does not contain anti-caking agents or iodine.
• Never alter salt concentrations in fermented pickles.
• Most pickle recipes call for whole spices for fresher and more concentrated flavor than ground spices.
• Fresh green-seeded heads of the dill plant are best for making dill pickles. If dill is ready before cucumbers are, store in freezer. Cut fresh dill, wash if needed, shake off excess moisture and all to air dry for an hour before planning in a freezer bag and in the freezer.
• Except for refrigerator or freezer pickles, pickle products require heat treatment after jars are filled to obtain a safe, high quality product.

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