Just to share a few hilarious (and disastrous) moments about pickle-making...
I decided about a year or so ago that I wanted some of those delicious, slightly sweet, mostly sour pickles available, it would seem, ONLY in the USA.
So I investigated methodically. I went to all the Supermarkets that have imported produce, bought loads of different pickles, ate them all ( that was the easy bit) and then narrowed it down to something vaguely "Polish". I already make Dill Pickles, so I wanted something a little different.
I looked up 30 different recipes for "Polish", "Sweet & Sour", "Sweet", "Sour", "Czech", "Byelorussian", etc. pickles. I settled on six different options, which I spent a week preparing.
So then comes the "testing" stage
( I'm looking at my test notes as I write this - the notes are edited to avoid
No. 1: Tasteless. No salt, no sugar,no taste, nothing.
No. 2: Yuk! Disgustingly wrinkled texture, taste like a mouthful of sea water with seaweed.
No. 3: Could be. Far too much spice, however, and toooo sweet.
No. 4: Wrinkled. Very salty. Too soft.
No. 5: Crispy, at last. A little more salt would help, as would a little more acid. Over spiced with allspice and cloves.
No. 6: These were truly appalling. Whoever posted this recipe in the internet must have been drunk.
so I finally decided on No. 3; modified the spice ( far too much allspice and cloves, again) added more vinegar and less sugar and more salt. And dill, for luck.
Which just goes to show, I suppose, that everyone has their own taste in pickles, and if you're going to make the effort to prepare your own, then it's worthwhile investing a few days to do it!!