In a pickle

This month, The Grazer, aka Anna Hedworth, is following the trend for all things Scandinavian with a little help from her vinegar and pickling spices

Ive been experimenting with preserving food for a while now; salting, curing and pickling. I’ve found that, when preserving your own food, pickling is a good place to start because it’s relatively easy, quick and cheap. I’ve dabbled with curing and salting, salami and fish, and have future plans for brasola and bacon.

Pickling embraces the seasons, but also defies them as it allows you to eat things all year long. Fresh, sharp, zingy young vegetables remain delicious pickled and there is a pickle to suit nearly every meal, whether meat, fish or cheese.

Fridges were a luxury as little ago as the 1950s so things had to be stored for future use in increasingly inventive ways. Indeed, the necessity to preserve and not waste is one we could learn some lessons from today.

Pickled fish, herring or cured gravadlax, dill pickles, sweet cucumber pickles prove that pickling and preserving are prevalent in Scandinavian dining.

And isn’t Scandinavia all the rage, thanks to the crime fiction of Henning Mankell, TV’s The Killing and Borgen, the craze for Nordic patterned jumpers, and for the amazing Noma in Copenhagen, again acclaimed the World’s Best Restaurant in 2012.

Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking: Scandilicious, by Signe Johansen is currently on my reading list. Signe grew up in Norway and now blogs about cooking, baking and living with Scandinavian flair. She also runs the ‘EatScandi’ Brunch & Supper Club and I have high hopes of improving my Smörgåsbords with her expert assistance.

Over Christmas Ocado launched its first Scandinavian Christmas Shop. Top sellers were Nyakers pepparkakor – traditional Swedish ginger biscuits and Scandinavian favourite pickled herring. I imagine Sarah Lund sits eating pickled herring while wearing chunky knitware all the time when she’s not running into dark basements in pursuit of armed killers.

So here are my two favourite pickles – one easy, one a bit more complicated. Sweet cucumber pickle is a delicious sweet ‘n’ sharp crunchy pickle and pickled herring is soft, fresh and delicious. I’ve also been experimenting with pickled grapes to go with cheese, with pickled apples, and I’m keen to try pickled garlic and lemons soon. Let me know how you get on!

View the Grazer recipes:

Sweet Cucumber Pickle

Pickled Rollmop Herring



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