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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #46
Worth1
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Have you tried fermenting them?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #47
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No, I didn't try to ferment them. I only ferment cucumbers and cabbage. Do you have any recipe for fermenting ripe tomatoes? I still have plenty of them.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #48
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The recipe is the same as for cucumbers. So garlic and dill and water and salt.

I think Green Bee would be ideal for this.

As has been mentioned, fermenting ripe tomatoes will lead to mushy stuff, that's why it's done with green ones, preferably just as they start to get a bit of colour. The problem with green tomatoes is the texture, if too young they are kinda like a hard sponge, imo not a good texture. Even if at the right stage, depending on the variety, they can still be spongy.
Which is why I think Green Bee would solve this dilemma. Unfortunately mine all cracked badly, they are unusable, it's very prone to cracking at any sign of rain.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #49
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CC: Worth

Regarding Moshou's recipe, with the moderator safety note, it looks to me like this recipe is already more in the realm of fermentation than canning. It might seal the jar without even heating the water, just for the record (although maybe not as quickly).

I make a lacto-fermented chile sauce, which is capable of fermenting for a very long time compared to other lacto-ferments I've tried. It uses vinegar and salt (much as this recipe, but different amounts; 3 cups of vinegar and 4 to 6 tablespoons salt to about a gallon of blended peppers), as well as added lactic acid bacteria (since I cook it first). Although I haven't used canning jar lids made for water bath canning during the ferment, I have noticed that when using distilled white vinegar, instead of needing to burp the jars, it creates a vacuum. My hypothesis there is that acetic acid bacteria attracted to the vinegar use up the air (but I could be wrong about the reason). I'm not sure if the same thing happens in other people's houses (let me know if you try a vinegar ferment, how much you do or don't need to burp the jar).

Anyway, both salt and vinegar should slow the growth of botulism considerably whether or not it's dead. I'm guessing those tomato pickles would be good for at least a couple months that way (but I could be wrong, especially as I'm not sure how many quarts are being made, for the amount of salt; so, take this with a grain of salt). Bacteria on the tomatoes would probably make lactic acid to make it more acidic during that time, too (lactic acid bacteria do that with my chile sauce). Despite adding lactic acid bacteria, I still don't need to burp the jar very much, if ever, because of the vinegar (so I use a tight lid with a silicone seal, since it keeps the outside air out better than a lid with an airlock). So, it seems the carbon dioxide is used up, somehow, too. I don't have an explanation for that, but it sure tastes like the lactic acid bacteria are living. I know others use vinegar in lacto-fermentation, and it still works.

The vinegar should help to reduce the odds of mold developing considerably, since it seems to reduce the air in the jar considerably (and adds to the acidity, while putting vinegar fumes in the air). I never had mold develop (but I certainly did at times without vinegar, with things that weren't chile sauce)!

If I opened the jar to taste it, I would always make sure to stir the sauce to prevent mold (which you might not want to do with things that aren't sauce). Doing that would speed the fermentation considerably (but it would still ferment without opening it). I preferred the taste most if I let it ferment for a good while, open it, taste and stir, let it ferment one to three more days, and then it was complete. When refrigerating, I had to use a silicone seal to keep the bacteria inside so it wouldn't make things in the refrigerator sour (e.g. watermelon).

I only let it ferment for some weeks, but I imagine it could go longer, especially in cooler conditions.

I probably prefer to do cooked sauces like this over whole, raw fruits/vegetables, though, and add extra bacteria after cooking (yes, I know the botulism coukd survive that easy, but the salt and vinegar would slow its growth considerably). For raw stuff that isn't sauce, I think I prefer the taste without vinegar, just lacto-fermenting the regular way.

So, if you pickle tomatoes, why not pickle tomato sauce? It would probably be a good salsa substitute.

Last edited by shule1; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:12 PM.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #50
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Danube is a very crunchy cherry tomato.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #51
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There are a lot of pickled tomato recipes when I searched for them, some for a refrigerator type pickle, some for a shelf stable pickle. I think I shall try this next year, and I have a small amount of New Hampshire pickling tomato seed, so will grow some of those out to use as well as other tomatoes.


I wonder how maybe a peeled or small cherry would be as a bread and butter type pickle?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #52
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Imp, have you ever grown the NHP tomatoes? They look darling. Rumor has it that one gets a thousand tomatoes all at once. What do they taste like, if you know? (sweet, tart, strong, mild...)
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #53
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Not grown yet, after Rob died, took a 3 year break from growing most anything. But it is slated for this year to be grown out, so I shall know what it tastes like and how it performs down here in our weird weather.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #54
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I just described NHP tomatoes to DH & now he has requested we grow them next year. You & me, Imp.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #55
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Ah, that may be a good test in such different zones for it. We shall have to compare notes about it.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shule1 View Post
CC: Worth

Although I haven't used canning jar lids made for water bath canning during the ferment, I have noticed that when using distilled white vinegar, instead of needing to burp the jars, it creates a vacuum. My hypothesis there is that acetic acid bacteria attracted to the vinegar use up the air (but I could be wrong about the reason). I'm not sure if the same thing happens in other people's houses (let me know if you try a vinegar ferment, how much you do or don't need to burp the jar).

There are various bacteria that ferment stuff, and not all of them produce the same amount of gas. Also, quite importantly, if you add a high enough amount of vinegar, there is no fermentation. Hence no gas produced. The vacuum effect is usually just due to a change in temperature. If you put the water warm, and then close the lid, when it's cold it will be vacuumed.


From all the common fermented pickles, the unripe tomato one usually keeps the most, easy 2-3 years if undisturbed. Most probably due to more sugar in tomatoes, hence a higher acidity of the final product.

Last edited by zipcode; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:12 AM.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #57
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If he NHP tomatoes make enough this next year, may try fermenting a or two, just to see if hey "do" well, and if I like them much. How does one know if /when to top the fermentation and if it is safe to eat?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #58
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Imp, DH says:

1. There can be cloudiness in the bottom or a white film that grows on top. That's called Kahm yeast. Wipe and spoon what you can off the top and you can eat it.

2. If it's dark, very fuzzy, or smells funny, toss it. You can't save it.

3. If you're not sure, fermentation groups can help. In the meantime, don't eat it.

4. Salt, acidity, and a lack of oxygen enables lacto-fermentation. Equipment, like special one way lids, can help. So can starting off with a trusted recipe until you learn the ropes.

5. The recipe will tell you how long to ferment. Opening your ferment introduces oxygen, which makes it easier for mold (which needs oxygen) to grow. Lids, like "Nourishing Essentials" allow you to reseal your ferment by pulling air out of the jar after you reseal it. Thus, it's possible to open the lid to taste your ferment, although doing it too often can still cause mold. Keeping the vegetable below the brine also helps reduce oxygen, so weights, baggies, or cabbage leaves can help.

6. You can get an idea of how your fermenting is going by looking for bubbles of CO2 in your jar. The special lids allow this CO2 to escape, which keeps your ferment from becoming over-pressurized and breaking.

7. I did the fizzy tomatoes in the Nourishing Essentials book for my first ferment. I'd probably do a better job now after a number of ferments. There are other tricks like using water without chlorine or chlorine compounds in it, no iodine in the salt, etc. A fermenting group can help. If you have questions, I can try to answer.

I'd love to hear how this goes. I might try a green tomato ferment soon.
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