This summer I’ve made some of my best ferments to date, however this week I had two failures. It happens from time to time, especially when you are trying something new. I’d like to share what I learned.
Photo by Hans Gerwitz
#1 Earl Grey Pickles = Yuck!
Fresh off the success I had using tea bags to make my pickles crunchy, I made an error. I was loading up my ferment when I discovered the only black tea I had in the house was an Earl Grey teabag I got for free from last years Northwest Tea Festival. I own lots of green oolong and puer teas, but no black tea. Earl Grey is a black tea with added bergamot oil. Don’t use it for making pickles. Regular black tea doesn’t impart its flavor onto the pickles. Earl Grey does. Another thing I noticed was I was scrapping surface mold every day. That didn’t happen with regular black tea.
Keep Earl Grey out of your pickle ferments.
#2 Paprika is Unpredictable
When I visited Ohio last December, I had kimchi at a grocery store food court. The pepper wasn’t hot. It had a sweet finish. I went back and talked to the guy who made the kimchi and he shared with me that they used paprika instead of Korean red pepper flakes. Since then I’ve tried to make a sweet kimchi using paprika a few times. It never tastes the same. Sometimes it tastes gritty, sometimes it is slightly sweet and my last batch tasted brackish. Night and day. Maybe something is wrong with my paprika?
I need to experiment with another pepper to get a fruity sweet taste other than paprika. Any ideas?