Spontaneous Fermentation Experiments

I don’t know who might be old enough to remember this place but we were hit by a bit of nostalgia recently.  It was over 20 years ago when my wife and I were dating (this November will be our 20th anniversary).  One of the places we liked to go out to eat at was a place called Carlos Murpheys.  Sure, it was a chain that died off in Michigan and probably everywhere else.  The one we used to go to in Kalamazoo was replaced by TGI Fridays (essentially all that changed was the name really). 

In the end though, Carlos has one thing I have not been able to find anywhere else.  They had a pickled veg app platter.  It had pickles, salsa, banana peppers, and the elusive pickled carrots.  For the most part, you can find all this stuff fairly easily, except the carrots.  On the rare occasion over the past two decades when I have found pickled carrots they have been sticks.  The ones that we really liked were chips. 

So now, still unable to find what we really want, we are forced to explore different options.  It struck me recently that in my research into spontaneous fermentation and the various bacteria that can create different sour flavors, I should be able to make pickled carrots similar to the process I use to make sauerkraut. 


1.5lb Carrots 1/8th inch thick slices
.5 lb pearl onion (peeled)
3 cloves Garlic

1Tablespoon pickling spice
50 gram Kosher Salt
1 liter water

Heat spices, garlic, salt and water to at least 160 degrees (to ensure the salt gets absorbed into the water).  Cool and then pout over veggies ensuring they are covered.  Weigh the whole thing down to ensure the veggies remain under the water line (very important).  Cover the top of the container with seal wrap.

Leave in a coolish dark place for at least 1 week.  If you have a fermentation room for ales, you will have the perfect environment for this.  It is important to keep the temperature below 75 degrees to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria.  The amount of the salt in the brine also helps to ensure that only beneficial bacteria grows. 

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