Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600555
Pickled vegetables or fruits are preserved by acid. Because pickles are high in acid, they may be safely processed in a water bath canner.
Pickle flavors reach their peak after 6 or more weeks in the jar. In fresh-pack pickles, acetic acid is added to vegetables or fruits in the form of vinegar. Examples of fresh-pack pickle products are fresh-pack dill pickles, pickled zucchini, watermelon pickles and corn relish.
Fermented pickles, also known as brine pickles, contain lactic acid produced by bacterial fermentation. They are submerged in a brine solution to ferment for about three weeks. Brine dill pickles, deli-style dill pickles and sauerkraut are all fermented pickle products.
Fruit pickles are usually prepared from whole fruits and simmered in a spicy, sweet-sour syrup. They are bright in color, of uniform size, and tender and firm without being watery. Pears and watermelon rind are prepared this way.
Relishes are prepared from fruits and vegetables which are chopped, seasoned and then cooked to desired consistency. Bright color and uniformity in size of pieces make an attractive product.
Relishes accent the flavors of other foods. They may be quite hot and spicy. Relishes include piccalilli, pepper onion, tomato-apple chutney, tomato-pear chutney, horseradish, corn relish and chili sauce.