Pickling cucumbers has been a favorite pastime for gardners since the perfection of canning equipnent and procedures. Providing you have a great cucumber pickle recipe and the freshest cucumbers, you should make perfect pickles every time.
Pickling Cucumber Varieties
County Fair Pickling Cucumbers - This is a sweet, full flavored, mild and easy to digest cucumber that grows to about 3 inches long and is almost seedless if kept away from other cucumber varieties. Country Fair is a great pickle for dollars, spears and whole pickling. This hybrid cucumber plant grows strong vines that average 5 to 6 feet long making it ideal for containers and the garden.
Regal Pickling Cucumbers - Regal is unusual in that it is resistant to most diseases including powdery mildew and blossom end rot. Their long and slim shape makes them the prefect pickle for packing in jars. Extremely high yielding (expect about 50 cucumbers per plant), Regal is a compact plant with vines extending out 6 feet or so.
National Pickling Cucumbers - These pickling cucumbers are solid, firm and crispy with an attractive dark-green color. This blocky fruit grows to about 5 to 7 inches longa and 2 inches wide and are one of the larger varieties of picking cucumbers. National pickling cucumbers will keep producing until the first frost.
Saladin Pickling Cucumbers - Saladin pickling cucumbers are a hybrid for eating fresh of canning. Saladin pickling cucumbers are lightly more curved than other varieties if pickling cucumbers. Saladin pickling cucumbers are a great choice for greenhouses and commercial growers as well. Originally from Europe, Saladin cucumbers grow to about 5 inches long by 1 and one half inches wide with small seeds.
Parisian Pickling Cucumbers - Parisian pickling cucumbers are French heirloom used in the late 1800s to manufacture gherkins (cornichons). For 100 years, Parisian pickling cucumbers were the only type of pickling cucumber grown on the farm and in the garden until new varieties were introduced 40 years ago. What is unique about Parisian pickling cucumbers is that they can be picked young and small for canning or allowed to mature as slicing cucumbers for the table when they grow larger.
The process of for preserving foods was invented by Nicolas Appert (1750-1841), a French confectioner, who in 1810 received an award for his process. He found that by sealing foods in containers and applying heat the food could be preserved. Jarred pickles have been made famous by Bicks Pickles, the largest commercial pickler in the United Sates.