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I need my Israeli Pickle Fix!

Let me start out by saying that I'm not really the HUGEST fan of pickles... I mean, don't get me wrong, I like them every now and then but I wouldn't say that they're my go to food. I don’t NEED them all the time, but they're good to enjoy on occasion. However, there is one exception... I absolutely LOVE Israeli pickles! 

I grew up in an Israeli household in NY and these little morsels were just a way of life. You could go to specialty stores and buy them freshly made or you could find them in many stores canned by major companies. But either way, I loved them and could eat them as an every day snack. They are small, crunchy and have a great kick to them without the use of vinegar .Now that I've moved to Florida it's a little bit more difficult to find good Israeli pickles and I have to settle for the specialty section at Publix. Osem pickles are good, but they're not GREAT.

 

The ingredients can be extremely simple, as we've learned in this class.

  • Cucumbers
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Pepper

I've left out the other stuff because I don't think I would use them in my own recipe.

The next part of my story comes when I visited my grandparents in Israel a few years back after not having visited for over 10 years. My grandmother set out some pickles as a snack, and my grandfather kept saying: "You've never had these pickles before, they're great!" and I was positive that I had, I knew what they were and ate them all the time. I finally came to understand that my grandmother had handcrafted them at home. This got my gears turnings and I picked her brain to get the recipe to see if I could do it at home. Seemed pretty simple:

  1. Start with Persian cucumbers (these are tiny, firm and seedless ), dill, whole garlic and pepper (for a kick).
  2. Layer cucumbers, dill and garlic in a jar
  3. Add in warm water and salt in 1 cup to 1 tsp ratio
  4. Let it sit out for a few days in a sunny spot
  5. Refrigerate and eat!

I found it very difficult back state side to find Persian cucumbers but after two years of looking I finally found a local market that SOMETIMES carries them. So when I got a chance I snatched up all that I could and this was what it looked like:

After leaving them out and then refrigeration, I cracked them open for a taste test. Unfortunately I was not really impressed with the results. They really just tasted like dill pickles, which are good but it wasn’t what I was looking for. I missed that crunch and spicy kick that I was longing for. This is where I learned my first real lesson about pickling. DON’ USE TOO MUCH DILL, it can be very over powering and if that’s not the flavor profile you’re going for, you might be in trouble. I layered the cucumbers, dill, garlic and dried crushed red pepper, but I used WAY too much dill in the layers. This turned them into completely dill pickles. I was pretty disappointed and pretty much gave up. 

This year I saw this class and it reignited my interest in trying to do this whole pickling thing again. Of course I’ve been having a tough time finding Persian cucumbers but this was the attempt I made after watching the lesson from this skillshare. I used small Kirby’s sliced into spears, a lot of sliced garlic, a bunch of red pepper flakes and a small amount of dill. Hopefully these come out with more of kick, should be ready in a few days! 

If anyone has tips or tricks that would be GREAT! I’ve even thought about trying to grow my own Persian cucumbers and dill because they're tough for me to find. Let me know what you guys think.

TL:DR - I love Israeli pickles and this is my quest to replicate my grandmothers’ recipe.

Good luck with your own quests!

~Jordan

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