The farm-to-table concept still brings us bounty in the colder climates. With all sorts of pickles appearing on dinner plates everywhere, there’s definitely a demand. Pickling is an art form; once mastered, the possibilities are endless! If you haven’t given pickling a try, now’s a great time to test the waters before the bounty of the new year’s crops starts to come in.
Remember the sliced canned pickled beet from days gone by? I do... And I actually liked them. I'm also from New York where the delis would have pickle bowls on the tables. Not just pickled cucumbers but tomatoes and onions and garlic as well. This has become a very interesting menu item, rounding out very rich complex dishes with a (often, roasted first to further develop flavors) pickle of some sort for that perfect finish.
There is very little you can not pickle. Meats, eggs, vegetables of every sort... Adding an unexpected burst of joy to this diner’s palate, but I always notice I'm not the only one. If I'm in earshot of fellow diners who are questioning the item they just experienced with wonder, I've been known to chime in, singing its praises and enjoying the simplicity of such great delicacies.
Modern commercial equipment can speed up the process in restaurants today... You can flash pickle (with vinegars, different than the fermented, lacto-fermentation type as in Kimchee) in as little as hours with commercial vacuum equipment. Oh the ongoing joys of kitchens and the equipment to amaze and entice. Hmmm, did I mention the fried pickles.... Another blog for another day.