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Pickled Eggs

Preserving foods using the pickling process has been around for a few thousand years. Pickling is a technique used to preserve food and prevent food spoilage for extended periods of time. This is can be accomplished by either producing pickles preserved in vinegar, a strong acid in which few bacteria can survive like most of the bottled kosher cucumber pickles available in the supermarket or one can produce pickles that are soaked in a salt brine which encourages fermentation. Common examples of fermented pickles include kimchi or sauerkraut.

Pickling is a technique used around the world; as it can also change the flavours and textures of foods. The flavours of India are preserved in chutneys, kimchi is Korea, Japanese Miso pickles, salted duck eggs of China, pickled herring is found in Scandinavia, the Irish have corned beef, the salsas of Mexico, and pickled pigs feet in the southern United States.

I love pickles with their strong sour, salty, sweet and acidic flavours. I’ve never met a pickle that I haven’t liked. My all time favourite is pickled eggs; they are the perfect pub food and pair perfectly with beer, any beer. One does not need much of a gastronomic education to pair these two foodstuffs together.

There are many recipes for pickled eggs, which means that you can choose one that will suit your taste in food. Some recipes may be very hot and spicy and will contain ingredients such as chilli peppers, for those who prefer a sweeter flavours you should try recipes that contain brown sugar, beetroot, onions and cinnamon.
The best vinegar to use for pickling is good quality malt vinegars, which may be either brown or white in colour. Cider vinegar may also be used, which some may prefer, as its flavour is milder in comparison to the malt vinegars.

The eggs that you use for pickling should be as fresh as possible, especially as they may be stored for a long period of time. Grocery store eggs may be well over a month or two old when purchased. For farm fresh eggs I like to use eggs raised by Pixie Hollow Farms north of Lakefield which are available at the farm gate or by delivery.

egg carton photograph

 

Pub-style pickled eggs
Ingredients

12 hard-boiled eggs

4 cups of malt vinegar

1 finely chopped chilli pepper

10 black peppercorns

10 whole cloves

3 cinnamon sticks

2 tsp of allspice

Method

Peel the hard-boiled eggs and rinse them off to remove any pieces of shell. Allow the eggs to cool and then place them in a large clean jar.

Heat the vinegar and the spices in a saucepan until the liquid begins to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the vinegar mixture from the heat and allow it to cool to about room temperature. Strain the liquid and pour over the eggs covering them completely.

Seal the jar tightly with the lid and store in a cool and dark place for a minimum of two weeks before consuming. Although it is not necessary I choose to refrigerate my pickled eggs.

The final taste of the eggs is largely determined by the pickling solution. The eggs can be left in the solution from one day to several months. Prolonged exposure to the pickling solution may result in the eggs developing a rubbery texture.

Other ways of serving pickled eggs are in egg salad sandwiches, potato salad or with fish and chips, as the British do.

Pickled eggs are a great source of protein; they are low in fat and contain very little carbohydrates, making them a healthy whatever your diet.Eat real food

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