WHAT ARE DILL PICKLES?
They are cucumbers that have been soaked in salt water or vinegar solution for a long period of time. Various spices and herbs like dill are added to give the cucumber some flavor as its’ flavor and texture gradually change. Much like cheese with its’ controlled spoilage, pickling also uses the power of decay to make something tasty. This is especially ironic since pickling was used in the old days to preserve food during the lean winter months. The acidity starts to break down the cucumber and fermentation prevents spoilage (by encouraging good bacteria to move in, thereby fighting off the bad ones). This is the secret behind why dill pickles are is so good!
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING DILL PICKLES
- Go Small or Go Home
We find that smaller, crunchier cucumbers make the best pickles–Kirbys or gherkins fit the bill nicely. But if you want to avoid the whole laborious process of canning, you can refrigerate your dill pickles to keep them fresh. Just be sure to sterilize your pickling jar by dunking it in boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds. For more pickling tips, check out our post Pickle A Peck Or Two With These Tips.
- A Crunchy Classic
The dill pickle is the go-to sandwich side dish, the beginnings of a good relish, and a crunchy delicious addition to tartar sauce. Back in the day, in big cities like New York, you’d buy your pickles on the street from a big old barrel manned by the pickle man. Nowadays, most folks get their pickles from the regular supermarket. Although homemade pickles are tastier and they’re easier to make than you think if you follow a few rules.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH DILL PICKLES?
They are great on their own, as a side to your main meal, or even as an ingredient in a sandwich or delicious soup. Regarding wine, go to your usual culprits like Sauvignon Blanc and Sancerre. Or to add some bubbles to the mix, pair dill pickles with a Riesling or Prosecco. As wines go they are both mild enough to work. But if you’re looking for something else, a nice pint of beer is a classic! Try a Stella Artois or Blue Moon with a slice of Orange. If you’re feeling nostalgic, try a Kingfisher to harken back to the pickle’s native homeland.