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Most of the recipes that follow are for fresh-pack pickles: produce prepared and packed raw into jars. Often vegetables are short-brined - salted and allowed to stand for a few hours - before packing. This makes them crisp. Then a boiling syrup or brine is poured over them. The jars are sealed and processed briefly in a canner, unless they are to be refrigerated or frozen.
Also included are recipes for traditional brined pickles, the ones you used to find in big crocks at the general store. In this method the vegetables, most often cucumbers, are cured for several weeks in brine before being packed into jars and processed or refrigerated. Brining is a fermentation process. It works best at 70 to 80ºF. Bacteria generate lactic acid from sugars in the vegetables, which gives the cured pickles a distinct, sharp flavor.
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