Well, its that time of year! fresh cukes mean I can make real “lacto-fermented” dill pickles. What does that mean? Lacto-fermentation comes from creating an environment that the lactobacillus bacteria can thrive, in tern they consume the sugars present convert it to lactic acid and ferment the item of your choice helping prevent spoilage. This family of bacterium helps ferment yogurt as well as pickles such as sauerkraut, kimchi and your much loved dills and they are present on nearly everything organic. You don’t have to add a starter culture: its already there!
Most of us have only had pickles made with vinegar. Vinegar helps the process be consistent and you can can your goods for nearly indefinite storage. However, you don’t get the same improved nutrition that our lactic acid creating bacteria friends offer. One of the surprising things about lacto-fermented goods is how bubbly it tastes. My pickles have a bubbly zip to them, kimchi, too. My homemade saurekraut has a crunch and just enough “sour” that its turned a few “i don’t like sauerkraut’ folks into believers that its really actually tasty!
My nephew had to go on some anti-biotics that killed all the good with the bad bacteria and now hes having stomach upset. Hippy aunt to the rescue! I made a couple batches of fermented goodies to share with him hoping he’ll find one he likes.
A bounty of pickles! Whole dills are packed in the crock, and slices for faster fermenting are in jars with old lids so the seal is weak and gas can escape. Its been so hot within a day the brine was clouding and big bubbles were forming.
Kimchi went crazy. It tasted so good I was eating it right away. It took only 4 or 5 days to reach its perfect flavor now it is resting in the fridge to stop the fermenting from going any farther. It makes a great breakfast scramble with eggs and avocado.