Gastro Travel Writing 101
I’m kind of a nut for pickled foods. My favorite by far are pickled beets. Beets are pretty delicious on their own (“Nature’s candy”) but they can be a bit bland or “earthy” tasting, as my sister says. Pickling will add a bit of tang to beets but if you find pickled products too strong I recommend adding a bit of Italian dressing to a bowl of beets and cucumbers for a nice little salad. Throw in a hard boiled egg for some protein.
What follows is a succinct review of some of the pickled foods from Piscataquis County Maine:
• Pickled Beets: This was the first time I had whole pickled beets and they did not disappoint. Perhaps they erred on the sweet side and could have been a bit crunchier, but the general rule with beets is that they get sourer as they get riper and larger so the smaller, mushier types are considered the best by farmers. B+
• Pickled Green Beans: These weren’t as spicy as I had hoped but otherwise the crunch and tang factors were spot on. Like beets, these go well with steak. A-
• Beet Pickled Eggs: I’ve made these a few times at home but this was my first time trying someone else’s. When I opened the jar the brine foamed out of the jar indicating improper canning. While I feared the likelihood of botulism, I took a small bite out of one and found the addition of chili flakes to the brine to be quite welcome. Nevertheless, safe canning saves lives. F
• Pickles: The brine for these pickles had ample garlic and bits of chili pepper which added a spiciness which while unexpected was quite good. The cucumbers themselves weren’t as crisp as I had hoped but perhaps this had to due with the summer. B
I also want to mention that when getting water from a well be sure to pump it a few times to get the iron taste out. Of course, iron is good for the blood so this more a taste issue than a health concern. I was reminded of this well water knowledge today while I watched some scab flakes dissolve in my sink.