Frequently Asked Questions
Our senses come in handy when determining the condition of lacto-fermented foods. Slimy, soft, smelly = spoiled. Each of these undesirable attributes can be seen, smelled, or felt.
Your nose will tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether your lacto-fermented foods are still healthy.
Instead of having a saliva-response, a signal your body recognizes healthy food, you’ll have quite the opposite – feeling repulsed and probably taking a step or two away from the container, when its opened. You’ll know it when you smell it.
Slimy pickles are usually soft, discolored pickles. It’s rare to have soft, slimy pickles without the “smell”, so use your senses to help you decide.
Wise friends suggested I should intentionally leave a small container of ferment-of-my-choice sitting out at room temperature (in the middle of summer, no less!) and take an occasional sniff of it over the next few months. It was good training, fast-tracking in my question to reclaim lacto-fermenting skills.
Here are two helpful sources offering more ideas about common pickle problems including soft spots, “off”-smell, soft texture or hollow areas:
Did you know...
A variety of brine pickled cucumber products are made around the world. Oi sobagi and oiji are made in Korea. In Egypt cucumbers are pickled by soaking in brine to produce torshi khiar.
Thought to write that I received the 5-liter Pickl-it about two weeks ago. I filled it to the “shoulder” with 3 grape leaves, 4 pealed garlic heads, six flowering sprigs of dill and several pounds of pickling cukes along with carrot “rails” to anchor it all underneath a brine. It went completely without a hitch. Pickling has never been easier. The cukes are crisp and full of flavor. I’ll be ordering from you again soon.
—Bill - Oregon