Pickling is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar (acetic acid). The resulting pickled food is called a pickle. This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste.
In the food context, pickling is the process of preserving or flavoring foods by soaking them in a solution of vinegar or brine (water and salt) along with spices and other flavorings. Pickling can be used on a wide range of vegetables, fruits, and even some meats and fish.
Some examples of foods that are commonly pickled include:
- Cucumbers: Pickled cucumbers, also known as pickles or gherkins, are perhaps the most well-known pickled food.
- Carrots: Pickled carrots are often used as a crunchy topping for salads and sandwiches.
- Beets: Pickled beets are commonly served as a side dish or added to salads.
- Onions: Pickled onions are often used as a garnish for burgers and sandwiches.
- Peppers: Various types of peppers, such as jalapeños or banana peppers, are commonly pickled and used as a condiment or added to sandwiches and salads.
- Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs can be pickled to create a tangy and flavorful snack or garnish.
Similar foods to pickled foods include:
- Fermented foods: Foods that have been fermented with beneficial bacteria, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha.
- Brined foods: Foods that have been soaked in a solution of salt and water, such as olives and pickled herring.
- Cured foods: Foods that have been preserved with salt or a mixture of salt and other seasonings, such as cured meats like prosciutto and bacon.