What kind of pickles do you make? No vinegar?!
We make barrel fermented foods via a natural process that has been used for thousands of years. Think about a Jewish deli style pickle or old country store. Fermentation converts carbohydrates (sugars) in vegetables into lactic acid and other microbes that deliciously preserve our pickles, kimchi and kraut. Our products are simply vegetables, salt, water and spices. You can taste the difference between an acidic vinegar pickle and a sour fermented pickle. For more on fermentation, read here.
Where does your produce come from?
We buy as locally and seasonally as possible. To name a few sources, we get produce from Mennonite farmers in MD, Amish farmers in PA, and farmers like Bigg Riggs and Spring Valley in WV. Often times, our vegetables came from a farmer at one of our farmers markets. Building relationships with local farmers is important to getting fresh, quality ingredients.
Do I need to refrigerate your products?
Number 1 Sons fermented foods contain live cultures, think of the good bacteria in yogurt, so we recommend refrigerating our products to keep them at their crunchiest. These are living foods so refrigeration ensures a consistent taste and texture.
Why did the top of my container start to puff up?
Don’t fret! Fermentation is a natural process. Our vegetables are lacto-fermented, meaning that lactic acid is the main preservative and we don’t add any type of cultures or yeasts to jumpstart the fermentation process. This means we can’t remove anything to stop the fermentation process. If you buy something from us that is still healthily fermenting or sat in your bag for the day, fermentation is doing its natural thing within the container. Similar to lactic acid, carbon dioxide is another byproduct of fermentation. When your container lid pops up, simply “burp it” and let some of the trapped gas out. This is more likely to occur in hotter temperatures or in vegetables with higher sugar content.
How long will my pickles, kimchi or kraut last?
We recommend eating our foods within a month or two of purchase to enjoy the crunchiest texture. The beauty of fermented foods is that they don’t have a hardset expiration date. Remember, fermented foods are a different kind of sour than sour milk. Although your kimchi, kraut or pickles are in the refrigerator, fermentation never stops. With time, your food will only get more sour and more delicious. If you like a fresher taste, we suggest you eat your pickles sooner than later. Let sit for more sour and tang!