The Science Behind Zaidy's Craft Pickles
Zaidy’s pickles blends the craft of making pickles with the science of lacto-fermentation.
Dating back thousands of years, lacto-fermentation is a method of preserving produce using salt water brine. With time, the salt stimulates the growth of lactobacillus bacteria that consume the natural sugars found in the vegetables and converts it into lactic acid. The lactic acid inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and encourages the development of “probiotic” health-enhancing bacterial flora.
What does that mean for you?
A typical off-the-shelf pickle is soaked in vinegar and contains other preservatives. This process strips the nutrients out of the vegetable. Zaidy’s Craft Pickles contain no added sugar, vinegar, or preservatives. Each one of Zaidy’s pickles is full of “gut-friendly” probiotic bacteria that can improve your digestion, heart and brain health, boosts your immune system, and has anti-obesity benefits. Moreover, these helpful bacteria add distinctive flavours, aromas, and textures, giving our pickles their signature delicious taste!
What’s so crafty about Zaidy’s Pickles anyway?
We age our pickles so that the flavour, spiciness, and “gut friendly” bacteria evolves over time. Each batch ferments at a specific temperature, and is then moved to colder temperatures to slow down the process, capturing the perfect flavour profile in every jar.
Zaidy’s Craft Pickles come in three different styles:
- Our new dill flavour has a fresh pickle taste with a little bit of spice. This pickle is aged four to six weeks.
- Zaidy’s favourite flavour has a medium spice level and is his preferred taste. This pickle is aged eight to ten weeks.
- Our seriously spicy flavour has extra bold taste and a strong bite. This pickle is aged for twelve weeks and beyond.
The longer our pickles sit at fermenting temperatures, the more flavour and spice will develop.
Once our jars leave the manufacturing process, the magic of the natural pickling process continues. External environmental factors such as moisture content of the particular batch, outside temperatures, and size of the ingredients in the jar, all slightly impact the taste in their own way. The pickles continue to change in the jar! Once refrigerated, they ferment at a slower rate but that still leads to more delicious changes over time. No two jars are the same but they’re all uniquely delicious and have Zaidy’s signature taste.
There’s some unfamiliar stuff going on in these jars, what’s that about?
Fermented foods come with a slew of health benefits and a fabulous taste. But the natural process can also leave behind a few unfamiliar sights. When exposed to oxygen, the pickles can develop a harmless white film, called Kahm Yeast, on the surface of the vegetable or floating at the top of the brine. This rinses off easily in water. You may also choose to remove any yeast floating on the brine with a spoon. Sometimes, if a pickle is exposed to oxygen for too long it can begin to lose its crunch and discolour. It’s still tasty and good to eat, but if you’re after that delicious crunch, simply slice off the softer part and enjoy!
Fizzy, tingly stuff
As the pickles age, carbonation develops in the jars as a natural by-product of the fermentation process. It’s entirely normal to feel a slight fizz or tingling sensation in your mouth when you bite into one of the pickles.
Off-the-shelf, vinegar based pickles have a clear brine. This is because they aren’t naturally fermented. Our lacto-fermented pickles produce a white, natural, and healthy sediment that sits at the bottom of each jar. The sediment is also distributed throughout the jar when shaken. This gives the jars their cloudy appearance.
How long do the jars last and can I keep them out of the fridge?
When refrigerated and left unopened, each jar can last a long time. There is no set expiration date to the pickles. Once opened, jars typically last between one and two months. Our recommendation is that they are consumed within four weeks after opening and they should be kept refrigerated.
What about allergens?
There are no artificial additives in our spices. Our pickles do contain mustard seed, garlic, and dill. Always check the ingredients on our label to ensure Zaidy’s Craft Pickles are right for you.
“Lacto”... Does that have anything to do with milk?
Yes, but only in the name! Lactobacillus was first studied in milk ferment, hence the term “lacto.” For those who are lactose-intolerant, you have nothing to worry about. In fact, some studies suggest that consuming these “gut-friendly” fermented foods increases your tolerance to breaking down the sugars in milk.