Stinky And Delicious: Why Fermentation Makes Great Food

August 9, 2023 | Source: Science Friday | by Michael Hirsch

Have you ever eaten a sour pickle at a deli? If you have, you likely recall the lip-puckering combination of salt, sweet, sour, and acid. Mouthwatering to some people and unpalatable to others, the polarizing flavor of a pickle is pretty unique. And considering pickles are made from humble cucumbers, you might be asking yourself, how do you get from cool cuke to tangy tongue-tickling powerhouse pickle? Where does all of that flavor come from?

In this activity, you’ll discover the answers to these questions and more as you use microbes to transform foods and impart unique flavors.

How Can You Cook Without Heat?

Most pickles sold on grocery store shelves in America are fresh-pack or quick-process pickles. They were made through a process that preserves vegetables using a hot mixture of water, salt, and vinegar—sometimes called brine.