Perfect Potable Pickle Prescription


I don’t know about you but I had a little too much to drink last night. Ah well, it’s perfectly fine. Half the people I spoke to earlier in the night were themselves getting fairly well pickled on alcohol.

One of the great hangover “cures” is drinking pickle juice. Actually, pickle juice is an all-around healthy treat (and I find it delicious) but it’s especially good for hangovers because it has salt. That plus the liquid itself rehydrates you, which is often what makes you feel better as too much liquor (or beer) can cause you to be dehydrated. Think of pickle juice as the original Gatorade.

Today while browsing an American news site, I found this article about new legislation being introduced in Virginia (a state):

[Representative] Habeeb wants to help home picklers sell their kosher dills and sweet gherkins at Virginia farmers markets, something that’s harder to do than you’d think.

“Under Virginia law, in order to sell an acidic good, you have to take a two-day course that costs $275, pass a four-part test, file paperwork with the state and, probably most importantly, every single batch of pickles you make has to be sent out for testing,” Habeeb said.

There are no pickle-testing labs in the commonwealth, so picklers must send their briny cukes out of state, at a cost of $100 to $200 per batch.

“After all that, you can sell your $3 bottle of pickles at the farmers market,” he said, exasperated. His bill would free picklers, as well as makers of salsas and relishes, from those restrictions.

Todd Haymore, Virginia’s secretary of agriculture and forestry, said Habeeb has one thing wrong: Picklers don’t have to submit every batch for testing; if their initial batch comes up clean, they’re good to go. If they make more than one variety of pickle, however, each recipe must be tested. Haymore acknowledged that picklers have to jump through lots of hoops but said all are necessary to keep deadly botulism out of Ball canning jars.

And people still ask me why I live here? I eat nothing but homemade pickles and for sure none of the people making them have to pay $275 (roughly 870 lei!!) or get certification from the state or any of this other bullshit. Pickles from the store are horrendous as they are swimming in commercial vinegar. All the pickles I eat are made at home with zero added vinegar and they are fabulous.

This is one tiny example of what life is like in America – a ton of expense and bullshit for no reason. When I say “no reason”, I literally mean no reason. Botulism is certainly a deadly illness but it is impossible to get from pickles.

Why is that? Because botulism needs a specific environment to grow in (zero oxygen) and a properly fermented pickle’s environment is completely different. For one thing, it isn’t air-tight and therefore the oxygen kills all the botulism. Secondly, as the pickles begin to ferment, they produce their own acid, which also kills botulism. The only way to get botulism in a jar of pickles is to make them completely and absolutely the wrong way, in which case they won’t even taste right, duh.

Thank heavens I live in Romania, where people can make their own pickles without a license, where they can then share them with me (yes please) and then I can drink the juice as a cure for hangovers. Beautiful!

If you’d like to make your own pickles the Romanian (and rest of the world’s) way, the way that billions of people have been making them for 10,000 years, click here. Deeeeeeelicious.