Observations on Pickles


With the exception of walnuts,* which, when softened by keeping, or by the mode of preparing them, are the least objectionable of any pickle, with Indian mangoes, and one or two other varieties, these are not very wholesome articles of diet,† consisting, as so many of them do, of crude hard vegetables, or of unripe fruit. In numerous instances, too, those which are commonly sold to the public have been found of so deadly a nature as to be eminently dangerous to persons who partake of them often and largely. It is most desirable, therefore, to have them prepared at home, and with good genuine vinegar, whether French or English. That which is homemade can at least be relied on; and it may be made of excellent quality and of sufficient strength for all ordinary purposes. The superiority of French vinegar results from its being made of wine; no substitute producing any equal to that derived from the unmixed juice of the grape. In our next page will be found the address of the importers, from whom, or whose agents, we have for several years been supplied with it.

Pickles should always be kept quite covered with their liquor, and well secured from the air and from the influence of damp; the last of which is especially detrimental to them. We can quite recommend to the reader the rather limited number of receipts which follow, and which might easily be multiplied did the size of our volume permit. Pickling is so easy a process, however, that when in any degree properly acquired, it may be extended to almost every kind of fruit and vegetable successfully. A few of the choicer kinds will nevertheless be found generally more acceptable than a greater variety of inferior preparations. Mushrooms, gherkins, walnuts, lemons, eschalots, and peaches, for all of which we have given minute directions, will furnish as much choice as is commonly required. Very excellent Indian mangoes too may be purchased at the Italian warehouses, and to many tastes will be more acceptable than any English pickle. We have had them very good from Mr. Cobbett, 18, Pall Mall, whose house we have already had occasion to name more than once.

* The bitter of the green walnut renders it a fine stomachic. In France a liqueur called Ratifia de Brou de Noix," is made by infusing the bruised fruit in brandy.

† Flavourel vinegars or mustard are more so, and are equally appetising and bungent.