Pickling Cucumbers are the same species as ordinary cucumbers. They are pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time. The cucumbers are smaller in size and they have a thicker skin and are more dark green.
Pickling is a staple of many cuisine and it has developed over time since it’s a way to preserve the cucumbers for a long time without using refrigeration and without losing the quality of the food.
Pickling Cucumber Trivia
- 97.500 acres of cucumbers are used for pickling
- During WW2 40 percent of all pickles were used by the army
- Berrien Springs, Michigan, is known as the Christmas Pickle Capital of the World.
Pickling Cucumber Buying Guide
When choosing the cucumbers for pickling you shouldn’t go for the varieties that are too large. That’s simply because you want to be able to put them in jar without slicing them, since they’ll lose their qualities when sliced.
There should be no yellowing and the skin should be dark green with goose bumps. The pickles shouldn’t be shiny or wet. They should also feel firm and be heavy for their size.
Pickling Cucumber Production & Farming in Texas
There are a few varieties of cucumbers grown in Texas and not all of them are made for pickling. The pickling varieties are: Calypso, Carolina, Fancypak, Multipik, and National Pickling. The process for growing, carrying about them, and harvesting is a bit different when they are grown for this purpose.
The cucumbers best suited for slicing are 6 to 8 inches long and 1 inch or more in diameter when mature. Cucumbers grown for pickling are 3 to 4 inches long and up to 1 inch in diameter at maturity. It’s also possible to use slicing cucumbers for pickling but when you harvest them before they are mature.
Cucumbers need a warm weather and they can’t survive frost. This means that Texas is pretty much a perfect state to grow them in, but you need to make sure that you’re planting them in the right time. You should start planting in late spring when all the danger of the frost has passed.
Harvesting should be done when the cucumbers reach the size you want them to reach. That will also be the time when they reach the right color. When they start to turn yellow, you’re waiting too long to start the harvest.
Carbamates used are: propamocarb hydrochloride, thiophanate-methyl, and oxamyl. B2 possible carcinogens used in pickling cucumbers are: chlorothalonil, mancozeb, zoxamide, and metam-sodium.
There is evidence that pickling was done 2030 years BC when the cucumbers were a native plant of India. From there it was transplanted pretty much every in the world as the civilization moved to the Levant and Europe and as the “age of exploration” started.
The pickles played an especially big role in the culinary culture when it was the only way to preserve food without having a way to refrigerate them. Now they are just as sought after because of the health benefits they bring to the table.
Before they are fermented pickling cucumbers could be packed list like any other cucumbers. That means that you can move them in large cardboard boxes or in sacks depending on how you sell them – by the pound or by the sack.
When the pickles are ready, meaning when they are fermented you can keep them in jars of varying size and with varying mechanisms for opening depending on how you move them.
Enjoying Pickling Cucumbers
There’s a lot you can do with the pickled cucumbers. They are mostly added to salads since they have a ripe and refreshing taste and they add a bit of a crunch to the texture of the salad. They could also be a salad of their own.
Pickled and thinly sliced cucumbers are also a great addition to a burger. There it plays the same role as it would in a salad. It makes the burger crunchier and less spicy. They are also an important part of the home made sushi if you’re ready to experiment with it.
Sweet pickled cucumbers are also a key ingredient of tapas. It brings it alive due to how different it is from the rest of the dish.
Pickled cucumbers can be stored for a long time and that’s one of its most important features. There are only a few rules as to how to accomplish this. There’s no need for you to keep in a fridge. It’s enough to store them in a pantry where there’s no light and the temperature is slightly cooler than the rest of the home.
Here’s a simple recipe on how to make pickled cucumbers and how to add a bit of spice to them as well to keep them interesting.
-Toss cucumbers in a large bowl with vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and 2 tsp. salt. Chill, tossing once, at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
-Just before serving, add dill and lemon juice and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
Eating fermented foods may help with everything from insulin resistance to inflammation. Sauerkraut, one of the most popular fermented foods worldwide, has been shown to have anticancer benefits, while eating yogurt regularly may reduce the risk of obesity.
Pickles that are not fermented still deliver the benefits of vinegar, spices, and cucumbers. Drinking pickle juice has become a trend because of touted benefits related to muscle cramps, weight loss, diabetes, and more.
Pickle juice is also a favorite of those following a ketogenic diet, who might need more sodium to manage electrolyte balance.
Pickles can boost your intake of antioxidants. The natural antioxidants found in all fruits and vegetables help in the fight against free radicals. Free radicals are unstable chemicals that form naturally in the body and are linked to problems such as heart disease and cancer.
When Are Pickling Cucumbers in Season in Texas?
To find out when Pickling Cucumbers are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.