Most of us know about pickles and how they are made from cucumbers. And many more people truly enjoy the experience of biting into the crispy, sour, vegetable to get their juices flowing. In fact, just thinking about a pickle can cause most people's mouths to water. But if you're a real pickle lover then you already know that you can pickle more than the traditional favorite. There are lots of pickled vegetable recipes that can have you pickling all sorts of things for a variation on your cucumber pickle experience.
You Can But Should You?
Any one who is familiar with the process of pickling will tell you that most foods can be pickled but that doesn't necessarily mean that they should be. Some foods can lose much of their flavor in the pickling process as the juices you use can easily over power them. Mushrooms, for example, have an already mild flavor, so when you add in the pickling spices their natural flavors can easily be buried under it all. What you'll usually get out of it is a lot of pickling flavor and no vegetable. So, when deciding on the right vegetables to pickle look for pickled vegetable recipes that will be able to preserve the natural flavor of the vegetable.
What Can You Pickle?
The best way to choose a good vegetable to pickle is to choose those that have a sturdy structure and won't easily wilt. Consider vegetables like beets, carrots, cabbage, green beans, and other solid form vegetables. Try to stay away from the more delicate foods like greens, lettuce, and asparagus. While you can pickle them they won't hold their texture so you won't get that crispiness that you associate with pickling.
Don't Stop At Veggies
While pickling vegetables is the traditional and preferred type of food to pickle, you don't have to stop there. Feel free to pickle a variety of other things that you find. Once you get hooked on the pickling process you won't be able to stop. Some off the wall and unexpectedly flavorful foods to pickle are watermelon rind, chili peppers, beans, corn, onions, garlic, ginger, artichoke hearts, capers, radishes, and a variety of fruits. In reality, there is no limit to what you can pickle as long as you do it right. So, when searching for some good pickled vegetable recipes, take the time to look at a few fruit, meat, and seafood pickling recipes as well.
Pickling is an age-old practice that has been around for years. Everyone loves biting into a nice juicy pickle from time to time but you can turn your pickling experience into something special and creative by thinking outside of the box for new pickling ideas. Take the time to experiment with all of your options, take a trip to your local farmer's market and find out what is the fresh produce in season, take it home and try pickling it. Once you get the hang of it, it will be easy for you to start creating your own ideas for new pickling projects.