Fall is more than just changing foliage, pumpkins and cool weather. It’s a time for pickling and brining. In Russia, pickling and brining fresh produce is a culinary art and deeply rooted tradition. The reason is simple: its the easiest way to add a daily dose of fruits and veggies during the long and notoriously harsh winters that consume many parts of Russia.
An abundance of fresh produce in the summer and early fall makes it possible to preserve enough food to last through the winter. Having harvested fresh apples and pears, foraged for mushrooms, and garden veggies, the process of preserving food has been perfected from generation to generation.
Nearly every family has a treasured recipe for pickled tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage — also known as sauerkraut — apples, mushrooms, and even watermelon. And while most pickled and brined treats can be bought at grocery stores and weekly farmer’s markets, there is something special about taking the time to prepare these goodies in your own kitchen.
That said, there seems to be a bit of confusion about fermented foods, especially when it comes to pickling and brining. So what is the difference between pickling and brining?