Dill pickles – fermented cucumbers.

cucumbers suitable for fermentationIf you haven’t visited an Eastern European shop yet, please, do this right now. You have a  rare opportunity to see what  a cucumber looks like (if you don’t grow them in your garden, of course).

What you normally see in shops – this long, sleek, smooth, seedless thing – is the variety which pushed all the others out of the market. I would  be grateful if someone gives me the reason why because I cannot figure it myself. It is tasteless, watery and sad.

What’s more, they can be fermented and this is one of the easiest fermentations ever.

dill pickles You just put cucumbers tightly in a jar (I use 1-liter ones mostly), add spices, pour the brine almost to the top and close the lid. That’s it. I love to eat them on the third day of the fermentation (exactly), but this is a  matter of taste. You can keep them in a jar for up to two years.

A few words about spices.

Traditionally, cucumbers are fermented with:

  • dill umbelsA bunch of dill with umbels (means dill flowers; so dill must be “overgrown”; can be bought in an Eastern European shop, if you are lucky; I am usually not lucky, so I grow it on my balcony)
  • 2015-07-25 12.19.03
    horseradish leaf, horseradish root, dill umbels and garlic

    A small piece of a horseradish root and/or leaves (it is very hard to buy even in Eastern European shops and rather difficult to grow in a container, so I just go without; however, I would be grateful for a hint about where to buy it in the Dublin area)

  • Garlic (I put up to 10 cloves per jar because I adore fermented garlic, but the recommended dose is 2-3)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • Mustard seeds
  • Cherry, black currant, oak or vine leaves

Seriously, what you really need is dill and garlic.

To give you an idea how popular fermenting cucumers are in Poland, this is a photo made at a food market in Warsaw; bunches of “ready to go” dill pickles spices

dill pickles, fermented cucumbers spices

The pictures below were taken at my mother-in-low’s appartment in Poland in the middle of Summer. No fancy equipment, just an ordinary cooking pot with a plate.  And what a delicious result!

dill pickles, fermented cucumbersdill pickles, fermented cucumbersdill pickles, fermented cucumbers

Follow my blog not to miss the amazing dill cucumber soup recipe coming soon!

Thanks for reading!


5 thoughts on “Dill pickles – fermented cucumbers.”

  1. Oh, you are making me impatient for cucumber season to really take off! Of course, sometimes when I get a bunch of cucumbers perfect for pickling, I end up eating them before they hit the brine. I love mine with lots of garlic, too.


    1. Hi Valerie, thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, I live in Dublin, Ireland. I love Ireland but I always think that California would be a great place to live. Yet, another proof!


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