I’m a sucker for a good flavor trend, but now pickling is officially a full-blown global culinary art. From kosher cucumber pickles in New York City, chutneys in India, kimchi in Korea and salted duck eggs in China, to pickled herring in Scandinavia, corned beef in Ireland, and salsas in Mexico—there are few types of cuisine out there that don’t seek to enhance its flavors by pickling.
At its heart, pickling is simply soaking different foods in solutions to prevent spoilage—but pickling foods does much more than simply preserve them. Through the picking process, fresh produce can also change in both taste and texture in innumerable different ways. In fact, chefs from across the globe are still experimenting with possible flavors that can be coaxed out by pickling.
Just a few pickled items I've tried in great local restaurants recently are dill pickled green beans, ginger pickled carrots, and traditionally pickled rhubarb and cauliflower. And this is just in the produce category. Unlike some of its more complicated flavor trend counterparts, pickling offers its fans a sense of returning to an era where food was authentic—something that truly resonates with this age of millennials. With so many different types of combinations available to great culinary minds across the globe, pickling is uniquely positioned to be one of the next great flavor trends in the industry, and I, for one, am excited to see where it goes.