The pickling process has been around as long as the first Grandma discovered the fermentation process and realized that she could feed her entire family all winter long with fresh food. By February, meat and fat was wearing pretty thin on the tastes bud and large around the girth so that she was happy to be able to provide crunchy, tangy, sweet, and hot vegetables, fruits, and meats for a little variety. Pickles sour seemed to be the favorite and she passed the recipe on down through the generations and the years.
Pickles, sour or sweet or hot have been a favorite condiment or even a snack all around the world. You could not imagine a Reuben without a crunchy garlic dill cucumber pickled to perfection or a hot dog without the sweet pickle relish. Japan has brought us the delicate pink slivers of ginger pickled in plum juice served as a delicacy to assist with the digestion of fish. China serves gourmet pickled ducks eggs and in Poland, the horseradish and beet are grated and canned for pickles sour, sweet, and hot.
The perfect compliment of brine water, seasoning, garlic, and dill, to the garden fresh crunchy cucumber is one of heaven's gifts to man. Vinegar, the fermenting agent, is added to make the pickles sour. For the most mouth puckering experience make pickles so sour that they will cure any ailment by leaving them on the counter to continue the fermentation process, once they are open of course. Buy an extra jar while you are waiting though otherwise, you may not be able to keep from eating them.
There was a time that you could not walk down a street in any of the states from California to New York without being able to pick a sizeable pickle for a nickel from a five or ten gallon barrel or even larger pickles sour from sitting outside the dry goods store or the grocer. Those were pickles. They were as long as the cucumbers from your garden and as tasty as you remember your Grandmother made pickles. Sour from the homemade vinegar, salty and with a bite from the herbs she added, many lament for the pickles sour past.
Now to get the real pickles, sour from being barrel cured, home made variety, we have had to scour the country side for a farmer's market or a county fair where a few loyal fans have remembered Grandmother's recipes and carry on the tradition. But those times were few and far between and to be able to offer your family the tasty delight of pickles, sour, hot, or sweet, we either had to build a pantry to store the transport truck load of homemade pickles that we found at the fair or, wait.
That was before one of Grandma's recipes found its way into the hands of a brilliant and caring descendant who realized that the whole world could enjoy delicious pickles, sour from your own homemade pickling. For those who say that is not possible, go to www.dzpickles.com