By Karen Solomon
Not only do I like pickles, I love them. Not only do I make pickles, I go out of my way to experiment and push the pickle-y envelop. Steeped in passion and research, Karen Solomon’s Asian Pickles offers up more than a handful of reasons this pickle lover to keep on keepin’ on.
Primarily geared toward a North American audience, the book offers alternatives to specialty equipment and ingredients, only asking the reader to buy stone tablet-carved necessities when absolutely critical. “Authenticity is nothing if a pickle’s components aren’t accessible,” writes Solomon. When elements are tough to procure, she says so, and offers online resources for essential but hard-to-find ingredients.
Solomon provides an overview of how and when to serve pickles, and then basics of process, before presenting the reader with a variety of pickle recipes from japan, Korea, China, India and Southeast Asia. The pickles in this book are focused on non-canned styles, as, says Solomon, the heat of canning kills the living food (flavor, texture and health benefits) we seek in a pickle.
Laced with attractive, full-color photos; clear, knowledgeable writing; and a wide variety of recipes well beyond the kimchi that most of us have heard of and a few of us actually make from time to time (I do! I do!), Asian Pickles provides adequate tinder to push our palates and our cooking habits a little further down the road.
FTC disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.