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Old 07-18-2018, 05:42 AM   #1
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English question

There is/was a chemical used in pickling process. Pickled used to be soaked in it. LIe, lye, or something like that. My English is so bad spelling check is not working and even Google doesn't know what I am talking about. Help me out please. Thank you.

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Old 07-18-2018, 06:22 AM   #2
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Charlie, I think you might be referring to "pickling lime," also known as calcium hydroxide.
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Old 07-18-2018, 06:58 AM   #3
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Possible, but I thought it was Lye/Lie. Another possibility is of course me not hearing right. And thinking that it was alye, when in fact it was lime.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:06 AM   #4
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By lime, I'm not talking about the green fruit. Lime is an alkaline chemical. It's sometimes used to make pickles crunchier.

More info: https://www.cooksinfo.com/pickling-lime
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:17 AM   #5
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I think Steve is right, although you may have heard about lye, also, Charlie. It's a chemical used to cure some foods like the Swedish lutefisk and to soften and remove the hulls of a type of corn called hominy. I haven't seen it used in pickling, though.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lye
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:33 AM   #6
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Your spellcheck isn't helping because they are both real words. Lye is sodium or aluminium hydroxide, used for cleaning things, including clogged drains. Lie is an untrue statement, made polular by attorneys and politicians.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:07 AM   #7
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Never heard of LIe. In future days, we may.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
Possible, but I thought it was Lye/Lie. Another possibility is of course me not hearing right. And thinking that it was alye, when in fact it was lime.
and there is also ALUM used to maintain crispness in pickling. which is possibly what you heard.

It is Potassium Aluminum Sulphate - available at your grocers'
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:57 AM   #9
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Thank you everybody
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
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There is/was a chemical used in pickling process. Pickled used to be soaked in it. LIe, lye, or something like that. My English is so bad spelling check is not working and even Google doesn't know what I am talking about. Help me out please. Thank you.
The spelling is "lye". Not a thing to mess with. Sodium and potassium hydroxide lyes are very strong chemicals used for industrial cleaning!

I'm not sure why you want to want to use lye for your pickles. When I pickle onions I soak them over-night in strong (Kitchen) salt & water, drain and rinse and drain them well then put them in screw top jars and cover with cooled spiced vinegar. (I make my own spiced vinegar but you can just use un-spiced if you prefer.) They keep well - I've opened a jar found at the back of the cupboard which had a date of 5 years previously. Still perfectly edible and tasted fine.

The important thing is that the vinegar has an acidity rating of at least 5%You can use malt vinegar, cider vinegar, or wine vinegar but the latter makes rather expensive pickles. Some people in the UK use clear distilled vinegar but this is a bit flavourless for my taste. Whatever you do, if pickling in UK, do not use the ersatz "vinegar" used in fish and chip shops - this is something called "Non-brewed Condiment" and can't be used for preserving.

incidentally, if you are thinking of using clear vinegar be careful. Legally, in the UK, it does have to be properly brewed vinegar. In some countries clear or "white" vinegar may be chemically made and poisonous to humans if it's sold for cleaning so read the label. carefully.
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