[Sca-cooks] pickling

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Mon Jul 16 10:26:51 PDT 2012

You've never seen a wooden pickle vat?  Wood used to be the material of 
choice for commercial pickling.  It might leech tannins in the beginning, 
but the pickling brine tended to seal the wood.  I don't remember whether 
they were waxed or not, probably not, but they certainly weren't scorched 
like whiskey kegs.  Stoneware was for home pickling.

The use of barrels and vats for commercial pickling seems to have died out 
in the '60s and '70s when cheaper and cleaner plastic barrels became 

There are some references to pickled vegetables being carried on board ship 
in barrels in period.  And they were still in use in the Modern Era, as in 
1901, Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagra Falls in 
a barrel, a padded pickle barrel five feet tall and three feet in diameter.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Aruvqan" <aruvqan at gmail.com>

> I could not imagine any benefit to scorched barrels. Actually I can not 
> imagine pickling in anything other than ceramics, to be perfectly honest. 
> You do not actually want your pickles to age in the same manner as booze, 
> with a drastic flavor change. Crockery is neutral.
> If the pickles were in wood, I would imagine the barrel to be waxed though 
> I wonder how long the layer of wax would resist the acid of the pickle.

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