Pickling in Belarus is a time-honored tradition with its own peculiarities, rituals, and secrets. BelarusFeed compiled a list of some heartwarming reasons why Belarusians stock up for winter that will make you want to open a jar of something salty, crunchy or sweet.
Preserve your harvest
August is a busy season in Belarus, it’s the time when all dacha owners, countryside and even city dwellers go to their kitchens to preserve the bounty from their gardens.
In Belarus, pickling is by no way limited to cucumbers. Cabbage, whole tomatoes, beets, mushrooms, eggplants, and even apples are pickled, soused and preserved to be eaten all year round.
Not only food
And it’s not just about stocking up for winter, there’s something special in the whole process. The clanking of the jars pulled out from the dusty cupboards, the sound of boiling water, the smell of fragrant herbs, and heart talks of the family members gathered to deal with tons of veggies and berries. This is what we call the inexplicable magic of pickling.
Pickle your summer
Summers in Belarus pass by in the blink of an eye, while our winters drag on forever.
Pickling is probably the best way for the Belarusians to prolong an incredibly short summer season. We still doubt there’s something better than opening a home-made jar of berries jam or crunchy pickles on a cold winter day recalling summer vibes.
In the days when there were no refrigerators, pickling was the only way to keep your harvest for a long time. This way of preserving food was used for centuries by our great-great-parents and was passed on from generation to generation. No wonder, even now the tradition of pickling is perceived by many as near-sacred and compulsory to follow.
The most over-zealous gardeners usually transform pickling in some kind of a national sport.
Like maniacs, they pickle everything they see, count jars and kilos only to ask their neighbours and friends about their results. They are among those who insist that food from your own garden always tastes better than that bought at the supermarket. Well, we find it difficult to argue with that, do you?
Sharing is caring
If the world comes to an abrupt end, be sure, the Belarusians will survive thanks to their cellar, balconies, and cupboards full of pickles. This is why sometimes they feel an urge to share their supplies with everyone ready to take and appreciate them.
Neighbours exchange jars, cans, and bottles with all sorts of things inside, tell each other stories of how they grew it, share recipes and invite each other to festive dinners. Next time in Belarus, don’t forget to ask for some traditional Belarusian treats from a cellar!