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Alternative cucumbers for pickles

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This summer I made an incredible batch of dill pickles which now, tragically, are almost gone.I'm assuming that I can't get small pickling cucumbers until June or so, and I was wondering if anyone has made dill pickles using regular salad cucumbers or the almost seedless "English" cucumbers? I can't stand to wait for the summer! Thanks.

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  1. I don't think you can get the crunch without pickling cukes. Try if you can to boost the crispness with a freah grape leaf; it may be too late--here the grape leaves are starting to turn. Put a leaf in the bottom of each jar to ensure crispness.

    2 Replies
    1. re: toodie jane

      Wow, that's really interesting. How does the grape leaf ensure crispness?

      1. re: SuzMiCo

        I don't know how it ensures crispness, but many of my family members use the grape leaves or leaves from horseradish to keep them crisp(if you happen to have some growing in the garden - my mother-in-law does, I swear).

    2. Try Persian cucumbers and you might get stuck on them.

      1. Well, the pickle gods must have been reading this board. I had Friday off, so I went to my favorite Old Oakland Farmers'Market, and lo and behold, found small crisp pickling cucumbers from the same people I bought them from in the summer. Their mostly Asian produce stand is about two thirds of the way down on the right if you have your back to the roasted chicken truck. I can only imagine what my late opinionated Hungarian pickle-making father would have to say about making pickles in November...I made the pickles this afternoon, so in about six weeks we'll see - miracles do happen.

        1. Regular salad cucumbers do not pickle well because the flesh around the seeds practically liquefies producing a nearly hollow center. Lack of crispness is the least of the problems. Another consideration is that salad or slicing cucumbers are usually waxed unless sold pretty directly from the farm. Pickling cucumbers seem to tolerate low (but not freezing) temperatures better than the slicing types and so are more likely to be available in farmers markets late in the season provided some farmers are willing to do late plantings.