We all grew up watching our mothers say that we are not allowed to touch pickles. Why? Because it will turn bad. But they always avoided the question, “Why does it happen?” The absence of the answer gave birth to a new question in our minds that is “do pickles go bad?”
There are thousands of answers to this question. Before answering it, we need to consider all the factors behind pickles going bad. But before that, talking about the versatility of this food is a must. Let’s look at pickles in their various forms and names.
Pickles are nothing but fermented fruits and vegetables in salted brine. It increases appetite, fights infection, and a lot more. But people from different countries have tasted this food differently.
We all know that the same food can taste a lot different once the place changes. The butter chicken you eat in the USA is different from the authentic one found in India. After all, it’s Indian food.
It is said that if you want to taste the authentic food of any country, you have to visit that country first. But in terms of pickles, you don’t need to travel overseas. You just have to order some pickles, Achar, or some kimchi.
Do Pickles Go Bad?: Various Types of Pickles
Pickles made in America are a lot more simple than the pickles made in Korea or India. Read the following to know the difference –
American pickle is basically cucumber or garlic soaked in vinegar and salt for a couple of days before it turns into a pickle. We love pickles on our Pizzas, burgers, etc.
On the other hand, Indian Pickles are a combination of a wide range of spices and fruits, and sometimes vegetables as well. India is a country where nothing can be bland. Indian food is all about spices.
The making process of Indian Aachar is absolutely beautiful. First, the mangoes or the vegetables are cut and washed. After that, they are mixed with salt and turmeric before they are left in the sun to dry out completely.
When there is no moisture, the Pieces are now finally mixed with spices like coriander, chilies, mustard oil, lemon, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, and a lot more. But they are not ready yet. After that, they are put into glass jars and left in the sun for a couple of hours each day for 2-3 months.
After that, the final product tastes out of the world.
Korean Kimchi is more like Indian Aachar, but the ingredients are different, and there is no use of sunlight in the making process. They usually use vegetables rather than fruits.
Do Pickles Go Bad In The Fridge Too?
We keep everything in the fridge to keep it fresh and edible. Therefore we also think do pickles go bad even if we keep them in the fridge? But pickles don’t need a special temperature set up to remain fresh. But just for the sake of reassurance, we keep it in the fridge. If you do so, you are good to go.
But it is also wrong to think that you can keep the pickles in the fridge for years and eat it. Once a pickle can is opened, it comes with a life of 1-2 years. So, it’s better if you finish it in this time frame.
Moreover, if you don’t wish to keep them in the fridge, that works fine too.
Do Pickles Go Bad After Touching
All over the world, people believe that once touched with hands, pickles go bad. That’s why our mothers always used to scold us for touching them with our hands. In Asian countries, it is still prohibited to touch the pickle with your hands. You have to use a spoon or chopsticks.
Well, the debate is still going on. There are some people who still believe that touching pickles with their hands makes them turn bad faster. On the other hand, there are some people who do not believe in such things.
It is partly true. Because if you have dirty hands, it can make the pickle go bad because dirty hands mean bacteria. Nevertheless, it is also true that the pickle brine is so rich in good bacteria that any other bacteria wouldn’t be able to affect the pickle.
So, it depends on the situation. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. So, it is always better to use a clean spoon.
Do Pickles Go Bad Once Opened?
Pickles going bad does not have anything to do with opening the veal. If you have brought pickles from the market and it has come with an expiration date, then it does not matter whether you open them or not. It wouldn’t be edible after the expiration date.
Talking about the homemade pickles, they generally stay fresh for 1-2 years. If you take proper care of them, like refreshing the brine, exposure to sunlight, etc., they can last even longer.
Just like wine, the older it gets, the finer it becomes. Pickles are also like that. The more you ferment them, the tastier it becomes. Just make sure that no bad bacteria enter the pickle jar.
Do Pickles Go Bad?: How To Recognize
Do pickles go bad? Yes, Pickles do go bad if not taken care of properly. Pickles are something that cannot be cooked and eaten in one day. Sometimes, even after taking proper care, pickles go bad. So, how can we recognize bad pickles? Here are some steps you can follow.
Check the Expiration Date – The best way to prevent your pickles from going bad too early is to check the expiration date when buying them. Always buy the newer ones. This way, you will be able to enjoy them for a longer period of time.
Always Use a Spoon – We know that all things are myths, but it is always better to choose the safer side. So, try using a spoon or chopsticks when picking up the pickles or else wash your hands properly before touching them.
Take Proper Care in Rainy Season – The most asked question is do pickles go bad in the rainy season? If we talk about Indian Pickles, there can be fungus buildup during the monsoon season because of the extra moisture. So, it is very important to shake the jar once in a while and keep it in the sunlight every time possible.
Do Pickles Go Bad?: Myth Around Pickles
The most popular myth about pickles is that you are not allowed to touch the jar if you have taken a bath. Especially girls who are on their period should never touch the jar. Why? It will go bad.
There are still a lot of families who believe that touching pickles while being on periods is not appropriate. Though most of us have now realized that these are nothing but some stupid myths, we still sometimes follow them.
These are nothing but exaggerated versions of touching the pickles with clean hands.
So, this is how you can keep your pickles tasty and fresh for a long time, even when you are on your periods! Sounds funny, right? We hope that this article helped you get over the myths and do the right thing for your favorite food.