Watermelon Rind Pickle Debrief

I’m very glad to have had a full week before debriefing this project, since I’ve never known a refrigerator pickle that didn’t benefit from several days of ripening. Oh the deep down contentment of opening the fridge to a big jar of home-pickled goodies. I’m frequently disappointed by the fading that usually happens with watermelong rinds, though this time was different. The multiple blanchings fixed the color quite well.

How does that work? Remember what I said earlier about enzymes and the way they’ll degrade food even in a very salty/sugary/acidic environment. Unlike bacteria, molds and fungi they’re not living things, so they tend to hold up a bit better. One of the early casualties of enzyme activity is color. Yet heat really puts the hammer down on them, which is why blanched pickles always end up looking more attractive after a good long soak.

I liked this recipe I have to say, though it is awfully darn sweet. The sweetest watermelon rind pickle recipe I’ve done. The distant tang of the vinegar is a very nice compliment. These really will be perfect in a salad, and great on ice cream. And if you don’t think ice cream and vinegar go together, try drizzling a few drops of a syrupy old balsamic over a scoop of vanilla some time. I promise you you’ll change your mind. To push that idea even further, try melting a cup of grated parmigiano reggiano into a plain ice cream mix. Substitute nutmeg for the vanilla, and give it a spin in your ice cream maker. Freeze, then apply the vinegar. Heaven, I’m in Heaven…

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