Pickled vs Fermented

When I teach fermentation classes, invariably someone will ask me what the difference is between Picking and Fermenting. This will be a super short post to explain the difference, just for funsies.

FERMENTATION

When we ferment our foods, we are adding or creating a salt brine to our container of veggies in order to favor lactic-acid producing bacteria while holding back putrifying bacteria. Lacto-fermentation is a great way to preserve foods, AND they contain probiotic bacteria which are necessary for healthy gut function, immune function and brain health.

PICKLING

When you ‘pickle’ something, you are adding a vinegar solution for the purpose of preserving. In pickled foods, there are no probiotic bacteria….but vinegar is a PRE-biotic, which is something that the probiotic bacteria feed on, so it’s still good for you.

I use both methods to preserve wild foods that I harvest. Some things I like better fermented, and some I like better pickled. Here are links to a couple recipes you might enjoy:

Pickled Fiddleheads

Fermented Cattail Shoots

Experiment and enjoy!!