Where, how and why pickled foods are taking over this summer

Fri 05 2017  |  admin

Pickled foods are an acquired taste. Indeed, some entry-level picklers never get over their first wincing attempt: the vinegar can be a little too tart for some palates. In some circles, sauerkraut is virtually a swear word.

But every action has an equal and opposite reaction and, accordingly, fermentation fans tend to be real zealots, as London is about to realise with a wave of pickle restaurants and pop-ups due to open soon everywhere from Crystal Palace to Aldgate.

Aficionados stand by the fridge, eating pickles from the jar, and rhapsodise about meats that were cured an almost unconscionably long time ago. To their enormous pleasure, London is getting itself into a bit of a pickle this season: restaurants, delis and pubs are fermenting vegetables and teaching you how to cure your own pastrami.

Two pickle palaces are launching over the summer. Deli/bar Salt + Pickle is slated to open in Crystal Palace in June: its raison d’être will be preserved meats and fish, including offbeat iterations of the trend such as treacle-cured salmon. Beers will come from the local Gipsy Hill Brewery.

Meanwhile, in Dalston, Ducksoup and Rawduck founders Clare Lattin and Rory McCoy are opening Littleduck Picklery, a veritable pickling polymath: there’s a fermentation kitchen on site, as well as a shop, a wine bar and an all-day restaurant. It will be stocked with krauts and kombuchas, and the cocktails will also use pickles. The opening date is still to be confirmed but its Instagram account, @littleduckthepicklery, gives a sense of what’s to come: a coral-coloured grapefruit and bay leaf kefir and mezcal cocktails mixed with fruity pickles.

But pickling is also a DIY trend: restaurants across the capital are offering fermentation masterclasses. As part of London Food Month The Manor in Clapham is hosting a lesson that teaches the basics and ensures you go home with a jar of your own bespoke preservatives. Once you’ve got your hands briney, there’s a three-course tasting lunch prepared by the pub’s celebrated head chef Dean Parker.

At the Waterhouse Cookery School’s class in Shoreditch, pupils will prepare a red cabbage sauerkraut and a gin-pickled cucumber preserve. This is also a London Food Month event.

Lastly, the Culpeper in Aldgate is riffing on the teachings of its namesake, “bad boy herbalist” Nicholas Culpeper, and holding a class instructing visitors about the medicinal properties of the weeds and herbs that grow in its verdant roof garden. You can also re-stock your own apothecary — the organisers promise you’ll leave with “bath salts, balms and tinctures” prepared by pickling some of the garden’s produce. An eye-watering proposition.

Via Evening Standard