Pickling, also known as brining or corning, is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine (a solution of salt in water), to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar (acetic acid). The resulting food is called a "pickle." This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste.

The distinguishing feature is a pH less than 4.6 [ [http://www.mda.state.mn.us/food/business/factsheets/picklebill.htm Minnesota Department of Agriculture "Pickle Bill" Fact Sheet] ] , which is sufficient to kill most bacteria. Pickling can preserve perishable foods for months. Antimicrobial herbs and spices, such as mustard, garlic, cinnamon or cloves, are often added. [ [http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=154497 Antimicrobial Effects of Mustard Flour and Acetic Acid] ]

If the food contains sufficient moisture, a pickling brine may be produced simply by adding dry salt. For example, sauerkraut and Korean kimchi are produced by salting the vegetables to draw out excess water. Natural fermentation at room temperature, by lactic acid bacteria, produces the required acidity. Other pickles are made by placing vegetables in vinegar. Unlike the canning process, pickling (which includes fermentation) does not require that the food be completely sterile before it is sealed. The acidity or salinity of the solution, the temperature of fermentation, and the exclusion of oxygen determine which microorganisms dominate, and determine the flavor of the end product. ref_harvard|McGee1|McGee 2004, p. 291-296|none

When both salt concentration and temperature are low, "Leuconostoc mesenteroides" dominates, producing a mix of acids, alcohol, and aroma compounds. At higher temperatures "Lactobacillus plantarum" dominates, which produces primarily lactic acid. Many pickles start with "Leuconostoc", and change to "Lactobacillus" with higher acidity. ref_harvard|McGee1|McGee 2004, p. 291-296|none

Pickling began as a way to preserve food for out-of-season use and for long journeys, especially by sea. Salt pork and salt beef were common staples for sailors before the days of steam engines. Although the process was invented to preserve foods, pickles are also made and eaten because people enjoy the resulting flavors. Pickling may also improve the nutritious value of food by introducing B vitamins produced by bacteria.Fact|date=January 2008

Popularity of pickles around the world


East Asia

China is home to a huge variety of pickled vegetables, including radish, "baicai" (Chinese cabbage, notably "suan cai", "la bai cai", "pao cai", and Tianjin preserved vegetable), "zha cai", chili pepper and cucumber, among many others.

Japanese "tsukemono" (pickled foods) include "takuan" (daikon), "umeboshi" (ume plum), "gari" & "beni shoga" (ginger), turnip, cucumber, and Chinese cabbage.

Korean kimchi is usually made from pickled Chinese cabbage.

outh Asia

:"Main article: Mixed pickle, Indian pickles (achar)"In Sri Lanka, they traditionally prepare pickles called "achcharu" from slices of carrots, onions, ground dates, mustard powder, ground pepper, crushed ginger, garlic and vinegar seasoned in a clay pot.

outheast Asia

Indonesian "acar" is usually made from sliced or diced cucumber, carrot, bird's eye chilies, shallots and seasoned with vinegar, sugar and salt. Sometimes Indonesians added other kinds of fruits, such as sliced/diced papaya and pineapple.

In the Philippines, they also have pickles called "achara" which are made from slices of green papaya, shallots, cloves of garlic and vinegar.

In Vietnam, pickles are called "cải chua" (literally "sour vegetables"), and are often made from mustard greens.


In Turkey, pickles are called "turşu". Turkish people make "turşu" with a variety of vegetables, roots, and fruits such as peppers, cucumber, Armenian cucumber ("acur"), cabbage, tomato, eggplant (aubergine), carrot, turnip, beetroot, green almond, green plum, etc. Also, they use a mixture of spices to flavour their pickles.

In Albania, Bulgaria and Serbia, mixed pickles are known as "turshi". They are a very popular traditional appetizer, eaten with raki. Pickled green tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, peppers, eggplants, and sauerkraut, are also very popular.

In Romania, common pickles are beetroot, cucumbers, green tomatoes ("gogonele"), carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, melons, mushrooms and cauliflowers.

In Russia, popular pickled foods include beets, mushrooms, various types of tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, ramsons, garlic, eggplant (typically stuffed with julienned carrots), custard squash, and even watermelon.

Pickled herring and rollmops are pickled fish dishes popular typically in Scandinavia. Salmon may be brine-pickled.

In Britain, pickled onions and pickled eggs are often sold in pubs and fish and chip shops. Pickled beetroot, walnuts, and gherkins, and condiments such as Branston Pickle and piccalilli are typically eaten as an accompaniment to pork pies and cold meats or a ploughman's lunch.

In Ukraine, garden produce is commonly dilled to be consumed in winter. Salt, dill, currant leaves and garlic are used and, after storage in a cool, dark place, this mixture gives tomatoes and cucumbers a distinctive flavour.

In Italy, giardiniera is a popular dish of pickled vegetables including onions, carrots, celery and cauliflower. Italian giardiniera is different from the American condiment called giardiniera.

Middle East

In Iran and many Arab countries, such as Lebanon and Egypt, pickles (called "mekhallel" in Arabic, "hamutzim" (literally, "Sours") in Hebrew, or "torshi" in Persian) are served at almost every meal. They vary, but the most common are made from turnips, peppers, carrots, green olives, cucumbers, beetroot, cabbage, lemons and cauliflower.

North America

The United States and Canada pickle market is dominated by pickled cucumbers (which are commonly referred to as simply pickles), olives, and sauerkraut, although many pickles popular in other nations are also available (such as the pickled tomato common in New York City delicatessens). Giardiniera, a mixture of pickled peppers, celery and olives, is a popular condiment in Chicago and other cities with large Italian-American populations, often served with Italian beef sandwiches. Pickled eggs are common in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In the southern United States, pickled okra is popular. In Mexico, chile peppers, particularly of the Jalapeño and serrano varieties, pickled with onions, carrots and herbs are common condiments.

Other foods that are commonly pickled

* Vegetables: ginger, lotus root, garlic, asparagus, onion, radish, green beans, eggplant
* Capers and olives are usually served pickled in the West (unlike the salt-cured versions favored in the Orient).
* Fruit: mango, kumquat, lemon, peach, watermelon rind
* Peppers and chiles: banana peppers, jalapeños, etc.,
* Meat: beef (to make corned beef and pastrami), pork, ham
* Fish "see also ceviche"
* Eggs
* Okra

The Pickling Process

The jar and lid are boiled to sterilize them.Then the raw vegetable and vinegar or brine is placed in the jar and the lid is screwed on. This is then placed in a cauldron of boiling water for a few minutes. It is then left to stand by for two weeks.

See also

* Pickled cucumber
* Indian pickle
* Mixed pickle
* Pickled egg
* Pickled snakes
* Brining

Other home food preservation methods

"Main article: Food preservation"
* Home canning
* Drying
* Fermentation (food)
* Smoking
* Sugaring

External links

* [http://www.fao.org/docrep/x0560e/x0560e00.htm Fermented Fruits and Vegetables. A Global Perspective.] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
* [http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can6b_pickle.html National Center for Home Food Preservation: How do I...Pickle]
* [http://www.picklesecrets.com/how_to_make_pickles.html How to make pickles]
* [http://www.milkwood.net/resources/how-tos/how-to-pickle-olives-milkwood-style.html How to pickle olives]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A3100168 Pickles (BBC)]
* [http://www.darylscience.com/Demos/PickleLight.html Dill Pickle Lamp]
* [http://tokyo.wholefoodsdiet-jp.com/index.php/Allergen-Information/Tsukemono-Living-Food-Diet-Salt.html Japanese Sprouted Tsukemono Pickles Living Food Allergen Information]


#note_label|McGee1|McGee 2004, p. 291-296|noneHarvard reference
Authorlink=Harold McGee
Title=On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
ID=ISBN 0-684-80001-2

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