Spotlight Spice: Pickling Spice Blend

Pickling Spice BlendFarmer’s markets are in full swing and you’ve probably started to notice a few veggies in the garden that are ready to pick. Pickling season is upon us, and for that reason we’re highlighting our Pickling Spice Blend as this week’s Spotlight Spice.

First, let’s talk about what to pickle.

While cucumbers come to mind, really you can pickle just about any kind of vegetable, many fruits, and all sorts of other things. Here are some great, non-cucumber things to try out:

Veggies: green beans, radishes, beets, carrots, avocados, garlic, peppers, celery, okra, brussels sprouts, corn, asparagus, onions

Fruits: berries, grapes, peaches, citrus slices or peel, watermelon rind, mangoes, pineapple, figs, apples

Meats: Shrimp, eggs, bologna, ham hocks

Don’t let that list contain you. Think outside the box – or jar – when deciding what to pickle.

You’re gonna need some brine.

The key to pickling is brine. It’s the magic ingredient that turns plain cucumbers into delicious pickles. A basic brine is just a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, mixed with Kosher Salt. The brine gets poured over the vegetables and, in what seems like magic but is actually science, transforms the veggies (or fruits and other foods) into pickles.

Most simple brine recipes call for a basic pickling vinegar, but don't be afraid to branch out based on what you like. Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic, Jalapeño Lime, and Cilantro & Garlic White Balsamic Vinegars, and Passion Fruit Jalapeño Fruit Vinegar are all great, flavorful options. 

Add the spices.

This is where our Pickling Spice Blend comes into play. Our blend is a bit different (fancier and more flavorful) than regular old pickling spices you might find at the grocery store. It contains the usual suspects - mustard seed, allspice, dill seed, cloves, bay leaves, etc., and adds coriander, fenugreek, and a few chile flakes for zing (tanginess, not heat).

Think of the blend as a perfectly balanced pickling shortcut for savory pickles. We recommend 2-3 tsp of the blend per quart of brine for pickling most vegetables. The spices will infuse with the vinegar, giving you tasty pickles.

And the blend isn’t just a one-trick pony. Try using our Pickling Spice Blend to add a zingy boost when parboiling ribs, making German sauerbraten, having a shrimp boil, or crock-potting (is that a verb?!?) a pot roast.

We stock the blend in ½ cup, 4 oz., 8 oz., and 16 oz. bags. Find it in the shop or online store. Happy pickling!

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