Balance of Place
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.