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Spreewald gherkins

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.

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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).

Spreewald gherkins

Recipe Spreewald gherkins

A recipe from the Spreewald village of Neuzauche.
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Course: snack
Cuisine: Brandenburg
Keyword: spicy
Difficulty: Experienced
Resting Time: 3 days
Total Time: 2 minutes

Ingredients & Shopping list

Spice broth

  • 1,5 l Wasser
  • 3/8 l wine vinegar
  • 20 peppercorns
  • 30 g mustard seeds
  • 20 allspice seeds
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 6 tbsp sugar

Cucumber

  • 2,5 kg cucumber
  • 30 g savory
  • 30 g fresh horseradish
  • 30 g dill
  • 2 red onions

Preparation

Spice broth

  • Bring all ingredients to the boil with the water and leave to cool .

Pickling cucumbers

  • 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

Leave to infuse for 2-3 days. Put the fermentation pot in a cool place if possible.

Similar recipes

Recipe gherkins in a jar
It also works without a fermentation pot: quick pickles in a jar. Ready to eat after 3 days. A recipe from Altzauche.
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Pickled cucumbers in the glass
Recipe hot dill gherkin
Recipe from the Spreewald village of Lehde.
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Eingelegte Gurken mit Dill im Tontopf

The recipes are courtesy of the book “Original Spreewälder Gurkenrezepte” by Karl-Heinz Starick from Lehde.

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