I’ve been making my own fermented food for ages, but recently upped my game because of the Naturale Living Workshops I’ve been hosting. My friends know that I’m quite clearly on a fermentation kick, and this question has come up often in social situations: what’s the difference between pickling in vinegar and fermenting?
Well, let me tell you, friends!
Pickles or pickled vegetables are preserved in some kind of acidic environment– but not all pickles are created equally.
It is possible to preserve vegetables with a vinegar solution. This is usually what you’re getting with dill pickles and Sauerkraut you buy at the grocery store. The vinegar solution is boiled, a process which destroys the rich enzymes and natural culture. They might be tasty, and they’re ready to eat very quickly, but in my opinion inferior to their traditionally lacto-fermented friends.
Fermented veggies are preserved in a salt brine (salt and water, sometimes whey). They are chock-full of beneficial bacteria– probiotics, which multiply and add to the amazing flavour.
Fermented veggies are also higher in vitamins than they were before the fermentation!
Sometimes grocery store sauerkraut might have been fermented, but if it’s also been pasteurized, goodbye probiotics!
Both methods preserve your food.
Both vinegar preserved and lacto-fermented veggies are “pickled.”
Both methods can easily be done at home.
Both methods will probably save you money.
Both methods will allow you to eliminate yucky extras in your food (polysorbate 80 is in Bick’s pickles–yuck!!)
In my opinion, homemade vinegar preserved veggies are way better than conventional store bought. But, compared to homemade lacto-fermented veggies, they are definitely not as nutritious as they could be.
If you’d like to learn more about making your own lacto-fermented veggies, and other ways to live a more Naturale life, sign up here to be informed about upcoming workshops.
Looking forward to seeing you!