It's educational -- and finally revelatory -- to coax a nuka pickle pot into an environment capable of producing good pickles.
Finally, this week I tasted a little bit of the complex, nuanced flavor profile suggested by writers who talk about nuka pickles. Sandor Katz writes about this in Wild Fermentation, and I'm still using Elizabeth Andoh's advice with my nuka pickles.
D, E and I joke about how this nuka pot is like a little compost pile. But the joke is pretty real. E talks about me burying vegetables in the pickle "dirt." And that's just how it is -- except the dirt is cultured rice bran.
In the early stages, one needs to begin feeding the nuka pot fresh vegetables, and Andoh suggests feeding it vegetable scraps wrapped in cheesecloth...
These scraps tasted okay to me. Very mild. I could taste the beginning of funk so I knew something was happening in the cultured bran.
Now, two weeks later, the pot is producing rustic pickles of daikon root, carrot, and brassica leaf (broccoli, kale and mustard green leaves all pickle nicely with this method) . They're earthy and surprising. This week, I've liked them all, and they're getting stronger so I will have to switch this week to do as Andoh suggests: put the pickles in after breakfast and dig them out for dinner.
After you pull them out of the nuka pot, you brush them off and then rinse them off before preparing them for your meal.