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We are starting to get a mite overwhelmed by our CSA bounty, and I want to save some it via lactofermentation. For the unititated, lactofermentation is a type of pickling which does not use vinegar, but salt. and time, in an anaerobic process. The salt kills the bad buggies that cause decay, and favors the growth of lacto-bacilli, which convert the sugars and starches in the vegetables into lactic acid, This preserves the vegetables for a long time, especially if they are refrigerated. The cultures remain alive even when refrigerated and are widely believed to be beneficial to health, especially gut health. Think sauerkraut (alive, not the boiled or canned stuff) and kimchi. But I am basiclally a novice. I have made several batches of sauerkraut. First batch I had no idea that one needed to provide an anaerobic environment, and it came out NARSTY. Once I learned my lesson, no more problems. Shred cabbage, massage with salt at the proper ratio until it makes brine. Tamp down the salted shredded cabbage, cover with a cabbage leaf, make sure the brine comes well over the surface, put into a Mason jar with a loosish lid, put on something with a rim to catch leaks, "burp" the jar a couple times a day, ferment to taste, refrigerate. But sauerkraut is easy to make. I want to ferment beets, kohlrabi, garlic scapes, green beans. For that, my question to you, dear experts (if any indeed there be) -- what about fermentation locks? If you use a fermentation lock do you also need to weight down the vegetables so that they are completely submerged? If so, with what? Because it all needs to fit under the fermentation lock. Any additional tips welcomed.
I just got done eating a plain bowl of white rice dressed in nothing but a stuffed red chili pickle my friend brought me back from India. The simplicity made me realize just how awesome these things are. Complex, robust, and powerful. I never eat Indian without them anymore. A lot of the jarred versions I purchase in markets here are a little lame. Very salty, and over powering. So a lot of the time I make them at home. I'm wondering. What Indian places around town have really stellar pickles. Stuffed chili, green chili, lemon, lime, bombay duck. Has anyone been to a place where the pickles really shine? If not we need to find one.
A brother/sister team who make and sell lacto-fermented pickles are looking for a space to work in. Have outgrown curent shared kitchen. Since items are fermented needs for the "kitchen" are worktables, space for spices and salts and conditioned space where the pickle barrels can live. A wide hallway would work. Hot line not needed. Cold storage great but not necessary. Ideal landlord is old codger, loves sour pickles, who owns immaculate underground parking garage that stays cool year-round and can't hear loud music. Know this guy?