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...
Pickles were brought to the New World by Christopher Columbus, who is known to have grown them on the island of Haiti.
—Columbus, Haiti & Cucumbers
I bought mason-jar airlock jars thinking they would work for my grant-funded gut-healing research. Mold! Oxygen-rich yeast! I was crushed thinking my entire research project was destroyed because of the poorly designed equipment. One of my co-workers recommended your Pickl-It and now my mold-free, high-bacteria count research is back on track. Thank you for your superb product that is affordable, laboratory-quality equipment.
—Dr. Marian, TX University