New Pickle Tickle

In food on 05/01/2009 at 7:16 pm

The best part about going to school is the intermittent free food. It’s all about knowing where and when to peep. Keeping it on the DL is tough though, especially when you’re competing with the deans for the grub. The best part about going to a kosher school are the bagels and new pickles. People tend to ignore the condiments, so there’s more pickles for me!

I’d never had a ‘new pickle’ until I moved to NYC. I thought they were a whole different breed of pickle until I did some research. New pickles are just another way for pickle slingers to make money without waiting too long and taking up too much dead space. I bet they just made up the stuff during some recession as a brand new product, touting it as fresher-tasting and always crisp.

I prefer new pickles because they seem healthier. Too much pickling is bad for you, and the statistics don’t lie. The highest rate of stomach cancer is found in Asian countries where pickled vegetables (read: kimchi) and smoked meat are eaten from straight out of the womb. It’s neutralizing the high acidicity and nitrates that are the problem. I also like the rich green color of the veg. The taste is also more palatable, more bright vinegary but still letting the other flavors and spices shine.

My free pickle days are coming to an end, so I thought I’d start making my own. The ingredients are similar to Asian pickling, just with a more savory bent. The key to the whole operation is just letting the cukes marinate 2-3 days only. This calls for no canning equipment, just some lidded jars or airtight containers (the flavor permeates everything in the fridge).

3/4 cup vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp kosher salt
1 cup water
5 Kirby cukes (or small green tomatoes, firmer the better)
5 cloves garlic grated
dill (fresh or otherwise ok)
4 tsp pickling spice (you can add as much or little as the list below)

Mix all ingredients and put in jars. You can leave the cukes whole, slice lengthwise or into coins.

Shake and/or turn over the jars every so often so the spices get evenly distributed throughout.


cinnamon sticks, broken
mustard seeds
black peppercorns
whole cloves
whole allspice
juniper berries
crumbled whole mace (or nutmeg)
dried bay leaves
dried ginger
coriander powder
celery seed

To add crispness, grape leaves!

enjoying the spa

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