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Fermantation 101

Greetings from south Germany, the state's barns. End of summer and the area is just exploding with summer fruits, so I decided to experiment with fermentation. Unlike the ordinary fruit fermentation which usually ends up as chutney, I decided for a salty one, AKA pickled fruits. The jar was sent to the cold pantry and the outcome was ready for Christmas. Story in pictures.


ברכות מדרום גרמניה, האסמים של המדינה. סוף הקיץ והאזור פשוט מתפוצץ מפירות הקיץ, אז החלטתי להתנסות עם התססה. בניגוד להתססת פירות רגילה שבדרך כלל מסתיימת כצ'אטני, החלטתי דווקא על התססה במלח, כלומר פירות כבושים. הצנצנת נשלחה אחר כבוד למזווה והתוצאה נחשפה בחג המולד. סיפור בתמונות.

I picked the green not totally ripe plums for that, as I didn't want to have a high level of sugar.

These are organic plums, so other than checking for insects, there was no need to wash them to much.

Cut into halves and rubbed in sea salt flakes. There's not really a quantity, just rub each half into the salt.

Placed in a jar with some bay leaves and left outside in room temperature for a day. The jar has to be well cleaned of course. The best jars for such work are from Bromioli which as an air release mechanism that let the gas out without opening the lead each time.

After one day the plums already lost at least one quarter of their volume and the water started to come out. The salt draw out the water, making the cell walls break in the way and therefor the plums become softer.

Fresh lemon juice was added till above the plums level and olive oil to top it, so no air could enter. Keeping the liquid without any air makes it impossible for molds to exist inside as they need oxygen to multiply.

The jar was than sent to the cols pantry where it was stored for the next four months. The pantry is located underground therefore it has always around 8°c and dark. Just before Christmas the jar was ready for tasting.

As you can see the plums maintained their form and also the color, the water are crystal clear which indicates that the jar was not contaminated. I left it at room temperature for the night and tasted it the day after.

The taste is perfectly balanced. Very savory, salty with delicate sour and a fine aftertaste of plums, but totally not sweet. If I had to compare it too something it would be pickled lemons. It would go excellent with grilled chicken or chicken breast, cooked meat or as a main ingredient in salsas. I promise to post some recipes of how to use this one in the near future.

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