I’ve been avoiding pickles because of the vinegar. Problem is, I love pickles. But if I don’t know what kind of vinegar is used, I really don’t want it. Of all the things that make my symptoms flare, apple cider vinegar is one of the worst. Wine vinegars aren’t much better, but at least they don’t leave me feeling like I should head to the ER. Other vinegars, like distilled or white, are made from grains, but if you’re supposed to be following an anti-inflammatory diet or can’t eat potatoes and grains in the same sitting, those are out, too.
I was reading through some recipes on a Paleo website and ran across that recipe that got passed around all over Pinterest for Chik-Fil-A chicken nuggets. Stick with me, I do have a pickle-related point, which is that if you aren’t aware, the secret ingredient is pickle juice. Ack! Except the guy who wrote the recipe included the name of the pickle brand he uses for that recipe, Bubbies. What caught my eye (and gave me great hope for a future once again stocked with pickles) was his statement that Bubbies is made without vinegar. Without vinegar, my fellow Fruities!!
Turns out Bubbies Pickles makes their pickles (and sauerkraut) the old-fashioned way: they’re naturally fermented, instead of quickly brined in vinegar. This is fantastic for another reason, too. Because their products are fermented, by the time they hit the grocery store (and then your refrigerator), they contain naturally occurring pro-biotics, and we all know how important pro-biotics are.
I thought it was worth giving them a try. They are found in the refrigerated section of the store (I got them at Chuck’s), and when I picked them up they were a touch cloudy. My initial reaction was ew. I bought them, anyway, put them in the fridge, and did a little more looking. Cloudy is very normal in fermented vegetables. It’s all good. So I opened the jar and ate one. And then I ate another one. And another. And another. Oh holy hell, they were good. They reminded me of the giant pickles we used to get during the afternoon break when I was in junior high. Crunchy, nice and sour, but without that sour “edge” you get with vinegar, and without vinegar’s unholy pain. And if, like me, you can’t eat grains and potatoes at the same time, the lack of vinegar means you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ve recently eaten potato, and can add them to potato salad.