Wednesday, September 08, 2010

recreating a favorite pickle - part 1

One of my favorite pickles was called "Cowboy Medley", made up until about 2007 by a company based in Lone Pine, CA. They sadly went out of business due to family issues. After having the jar for 2 years unopened in my fridge, I finally decided to crack it open and taste it...

...MMM...damn good. The pickled garlic really infuses everything. The vinegar isn't sharp, but it definitely tastes pretty salty, but not in a bad way. The flavors just blend sooo nicely. I taste a tad bit of sweetness, but I don't see it on the ingredients. It's entirely possible there's a tiny bit of sugar in there.

So I dissected about 1.5 cups of pickle mix:

24g red peppers, sliced (about 8 thin slices)
58g small green olives (about 27 small olives)
24g peeled whole garlic cloves (about 26 cloves)
71g pepperoncinis (about 6 medium pepperoncinis)

The pickling liquid, as far as I could tell is made from:
spring water
distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
dried oregano
dried basil
minced garlic

Regarding the quantities for the pickle liquid, I don't know. Using the interwebs for some reasearch, I think this might work, although I'd have to try it to verify the taste:

1c distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
.5c spring water
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp minced garlic

Bring vinegar and water to boil in non-reactive pot.

What are some other ratios? Heres one I found:

2 quarts (8 cups) white vinegar
1 cup pickling salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup mustard seed
2 tbsp. celery seed
1 small dried hot pepper

Here's another:

1 cup water
5 cups vinegar (5%)
4 tsp canning or pickling salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 cloves garlic

And another:

2 quarts (8 cups) water
1/4 c. vinegar (5%)
1/2 c. salt

Wow, being a baker I have really learned to hate volumetric measurements.
I'll work on it...more to come!

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