[Homestead] Chemistry ?
akkabhomestead at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 14 17:44:13 EDT 2008
Grape leaves contain tannins (I am sure you already know this)
Tannins are bitter ( and this, too)
Touch a grape leaf to your tongue...yukky-bitter? sucks the saliva right off, doesn't it? Makes you wanna spit. I can see you making weird faces and sticking your tongue out in yukkiness<g>. The tannic acid reacts with enzymes in the cuke (it is a pectin generating enzyme that makes pickles softer mushier) reducing the enzymatic action and in the process, the leaf also sucks the excess moisture out of the cuke, too, making it even more crispy and the other seasonings, like the dill and garlic and maybe a red pepper, offset the bitterness.
I kind of recall that only a certain part of the cuke has this enzyme.. I can't remember if it is the stem end, the blossom end, the peeling, or what... disregard that cuz I'm not sure.
You can also can the grape leaves themselves and use them for various recipes.
--- On Sun, 9/14/08, Lynda <lurine at softcom.net> wrote:
From: Lynda <lurine at softcom.net>
Subject: [Homestead] Chemistry ?
To: homestead at lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Sunday, September 14, 2008, 9:25 PM
O.K. all you chemist type folks out there. Anyone know anything about the
chemical properties of grape leaves? What "special" or different
might be in them that would make a home canned pickle more crisp?
I'm trying to cut down on buying "stuff" and had heard that using
leaf in your jar when making pickles would give them a better texture since
home canned pickles are inclined to be mushy. So, when I put out my last
batch of zucchini pickles I stuck a grape leaf in each jar and blessed if
the zucchini pickles aren't a rather nice firm texture compared to what one
might expect from zucchini.
So, I'm wondering what the magic is in the grape leaves. AND, it sure is a
whole lot less expensive to simply walk out the door and cut some grape
leaves instead of heading on down to the neighborhood market to buy Pickle
Crisp, which btw, you can't buy anymore or some alum.
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