Awesome Pickle is about fermented foods. We share recipes and resources for making your own pickles, sourdough, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, beer, sodas, miso yogurt, kefir—wherever friendly microorganisms do their thing, we’re there. We bring you tips and ideas from experienced picklers, from chefs to the grandmother of a friend of a friend, and we chronicle our own adventures in the kitchen. We also bring you news on the science of probiotic, living foods and the health benefits of eating them.

Contact us at: pickle [at] awesomepickle.com

  1. Tom Sepe’s avatar

    Do you eve make sweet pickles? My grandmother in sweden used to make the best pickled sliced cucumbers… with fresh dill… I think the white vinegar and the sugar are what make them special… but reading your site I’m wondering if the sweetness comes from the process? I’d love to know more!



    p.s. I’m a chef and live in oakland too! love your site hope to meet someday!

  2. Eric’s avatar

    I haven’t made sweet pickles yet as I’m still learning about the sour ones. As I understand it, the fermentation always eats up whatever sugars are around and produces the sour flavors. And I think that the vinegar in vinegar pickles keeps fermentation from happening, so the sugar flavor stays in the pickles. Do you have her recipe for the pickles? Have you ever made them? It would be fun to meet. Where do you work?

  3. Caroline Cooper’s avatar

    Hi Awesome Pickle,

    I have just found your website through the Weston A Price Foundation. I have blogged about lacto-fermentation foods and was happy to see all your great recipes and photos. I have put a link to your site so interested people can try your recipes. If you would like to go to my site go to: http://www.eatkamloops.org.

    Thanks for all the great work!

  4. Dan’s avatar

    For years I have made half sour fermented pickles (kirbys) However sinse I have moved to a cooler area, East Bay, the fermentation does not start. I am trying setting them above a warming tray but they are not going cloudy. Any suggestions?

    Are the kirbys washed before they get to the Monterrey Market or Berkeley Bowl. I also notice they sell dill that is in the pollen state as pickling dill.

  5. Eric’s avatar

    Hi Dan, I’m not sure why your cucumbers aren’t pickling. I live in the east bay and I have no trouble getting pickles to ferment. What are you pickling them in? Have you tasted them?

  6. Ruby’s avatar

    Thank you for sharing your experiments on this amazing way of preserving food! It inspires me.
    I lacto-ferment vegetables for my family, in which some persons don’t tolerate whey, so I use sauerkraut juice as a culture for my vegetables. I am interested in other ways to inoculate pickles to ensure a positive result, like maybe rejuvelac for preserved fruits?
    I would like to know if you have any experience or reference about the use of rejuvelac or sauerkraut juice in replacement of whey: are they as potent, can I use the same quantity as is indicated for whey in, for example, Sally Fallon’s recipes? What about a pinch of pro-biotic acidophilus supplement?

  7. Eric’s avatar

    Thanks Ruby, that’s a good question. I don’t have a lot of experience substituting starters, but I think that rejuvelac and sauerkraut juice would both work as starters to replace whey. I would think that substituting it for the same amount of whey in a recipe would work, or you could always add more; it wouldn’t hurt to have extra lactobacilli in your pickle. I have also fermented fruit using salt brine and no starter, which worked well.

  8. Ruby’s avatar

    Hello! Another question, apart from all the positive comments I already gave!
    Do you know if we can pickle mackerel after it has been frozen? It seems to be the best way to get it as fresh as possible around here… Thanks!

  9. Eric’s avatar

    Hi again Ruby, yes you can still pickle fish after it’s been frozen. Enjoy.

  10. Rena’s avatar

    Great blog, Eric, and thank you so much for my little starter Kefir Culture from the Mother Cultures Event! I’m amazed how quick and easy it is – one day later I have made kefir! Thanks also for the fantastic instructions on making your own sourdough. I’d been baking bread for a while and couldn’t keep up with all the starter. Hated to see it die, but now I know I can make my own and get all nerdy about bread baking again! Have you experimented with whole wheat, spelt, quinoa, buckwheat or rice flour with this recipe? Trying to stay away from too much white wheat…

  11. Eric’s avatar

    Thanks Rena, I’m glad the kefir is working for you. I don’t have too much experience with making sourdough out of flours other than white wheat, but I did get a whole wheat sourdough starter at the Mother Cultures event from Sarah Klein. And it came with a one-page guide. I’m hoping to talk her into writing something for awesome pickle but meanwhile you could catch her at her website, sarahklein.com.

  12. Peter’s avatar

    I am making pickled asparagus as per your recipe. I have a question about using aluminum for a weight to keep the vegies submerged. Any reason why not?

  13. Eric’s avatar

    Hi Peter, I don’t use aluminum or other metals while fermenting because the salt we use and the acids often produced during fermentation can react with them. This can cause off colors, strange tastes, or leach metal into the pickle. Stainless steel may be ok, but I prefer to avoid the whole question and use glass and ceramic containers instead.

  14. Ken Albala’s avatar

    What a cool site. Just stumbled on it looking for things to do with whey. Great stuff. Ken

  15. Lotta’s avatar

    Hi Awesome Pickle,

    I just found out that November 14th is National Pickle Day! Are you going to pickle something special?

    I think your website is a really great concept. I have never pickled, but this will help me start for sure.

    Thank you!


  16. Carly’s avatar

    I just found your blog. It’s fantastic! I’m only sorry i haven’t been reading it all along. As a new lover of ferments, this is just the kind of thing I’ve been searching for. In fact, I just started my own ferment-centric blog to add one more voice to the kraut hungry crowd.

    Can’t wait to get done with my day job and peruse your archives of fermenting fun.

    Best, Carly


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