Originally Posted by mcnerd
Cutting off the blossom end of the pickles (required) has nothing to do with the crispness of the pickle. If you can't find fresh grape leaves, consider buying Ball "Pickle Crisp" or food grade Calcium Chloride. Does the same thing and is much safer than alum or lime soaks.
Thank you. From internet searching, it seems that Ball has stopped making Pickle Crisp. I'm not even sure it was ever available in Canada. I also Googled CaCl and it seems safe in moderation, even by my standards ;) I was kinda curious about that, because I see it listed in the ingredients of a lot of food.
But, I have secured more than one source of fresh grape leaves from friends, so that's what I will use. I always prefer the natural stuff, unless it's something like cyanide.