Soil conditions and climate have been crucial to the successful cultivation of cucumbers in the Spreewald since the 16th century. To preserve the cucumbers until the next harvest, they were first placed in brine in large beech and oak barrels. Later taken out, watered and put in a spice brine. In the course of the centuries different recipes developed – each farmer family has its own. A distinction is made between gherkins, pickled gherkins, mustard gherkins and pickled gherkins.
With the recipes presented here, you can easily try it out yourself at home with a clay gardening pot (also available at garden or hardware stores).
Ingredients & Shopping list
- 1,5 l Wasser
- 3/8 l wine vinegar
- 20 peppercorns
- 30 g mustard seeds
- 20 allspice seeds
- 3 tbsp salt
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 2,5 kg cucumber
- 30 g savory
- 30 g fresh horseradish
- 30 g dill
- 2 red onions
- Bring all ingredients to the boil with the water and leave to cool .
- Wash the gherkins thoroughly, rinse, dry and prick them several times with a needle.
- Layer cucumbers, onion rings, dill, savory and horseradish in a stone pot.
- Pour the cooled spice stock over the cucumbers.
- Place the watered earthenware rings on top of the cucumbers and water. Put the lid over it. Fill the water ring on the pot with boiled, cooled water. This keeps the air away from the fermentation pot.
Tips & Hints
The recipes are courtesy of the book “Original Spreewälder Gurkenrezepte” by Karl-Heinz Starick from Lehde.
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