Balance of Place


Indian Pickled Limes

Where you are is important. It defines what you do. Some ideas travel well, some are rooted in a time or a place. To try to force an idea or a recipe, a concept or a conceit, out of it’s place of origin, where it was conceived and constructed,  and into a new environment without adjusting, you will inevitably come out with a poor copy.

A friend of mine who has an deep love for Indian cuisine tried our Lime Pickles and didn’t care for them much. They didn’t fit her ideas of what the pickle was. She felt they were out of balance.

I couldn’t disagree more. Under the heat of the Indian sun, while trying to preserve limes or mangoes in huge quantities for long durations,  a copious amount of salt and oil may be necessary. However they are, in my experience, oily salt bombs.

Here in the temperate climate of the San Francisco Bay we use much less salt and no oil. We ferment the limes for six months with fresh chilies and ginger, fenugreek, turmeric and mustard seed. The clean taste of lime is revealed,  and it is delicious.


2 thoughts on “Balance of Place

  1. These are stunningly beautiful.
    I absolutely love fermented citrus. I manage to prepare both fermented lemons and limes at least twice a year. I have produced lemons and key limes with flesh so wonderfully bright, and clear, and clean, displaying a candy-like quality.
    I have also produced lemons with a distinct olive character, rich and oily, briny and delicious.
    But all too often I get some degree of bitterness, especially with the limes, but not always. I have yet to discover how to ferment this style of lemon/lime pickle without bitterness, reliably.
    Can you give any advice about how to improve my efforts? Maybe share brine ratios and spice ratios?

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