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How Long Do Pickles Last? Shelf Life Of Pickles Explained
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If you’re as addicted to a pickle’s raunchy flavors as we are, we know you’d love to eat till the jar is wiped clean. But wait a minute…do you check the shelf life?
Back in the day, people used pickling as a means to increasing the shelf lives of other foods. Cucumber, for instance, was a healthy food choice, but didn’t last long. Soon, cucumbers began to be pickled so they could be eaten months or possibly years later. That’s how we stumbled onto pickles in the first place!
Similarly, pickles have a shelf life too. And you shouldn’t be consuming pickles that have lived beyond their shelf life. What is the shelf life of pickles and what are the factors influencing it? Let’s take a look.
Factors Affecting Pickles’ Shelf Life
The Method Used
When a pickle is being prepared, adding an acidifying agent like vinegar into the mix is essential. By adding an acid, you’re creating an inhabitable environment for the bacteria. The decomposition of the food is fended off this way, and the pickle stays fresh for long.
Antimicrobial spices and herbs such as asafetida, bay leaf, cinnamon, and mustard also perform a similar role. These help kill the pathogens and increase a pickle’s shelf life.
The key aspect to storing pickles is keeping the moisture away. The longer you keep the moisture at bay, the longer is the pickle’s shelf life. Also keep the sun and heat away. If the sunlight is directly incident on a transparent or translucent jar, the pickle will lose its color.
The solution to both these problems is to pick an opaque pickle jar and store it in a dark, dry, and cool environment, like a basement, cabinet, or pantry. When serving the pickle, use a dry spoon. Wipe the jar’s lid dry each time you open it. This way you can extend the pickle’s life.
Shelf Life Numbers For Pickles
Although it’s difficult to specify a number, we can surely give you a ballpark figure. According to eatbydate, an online community that informs people of the shelf lives of foods, pickles last for 1-2 years past the date printed on the jar. So that’s the period in which you can eat your pickles safely. This also means you should label your homemade pickle, so you know when to stop eating it.
Note that the date is a ‘best before’ date and not a ‘use by’ date. So you can eat the pickle even after the date, but it may not taste as good and probably cause a food-borne illness.
Why don’t you visit http://www.picklemasti.com to buy your favorite pickle? Remember, you have a year or two to relish it! Picklemasti is India’s largest online marketplace for buying pickles. You can sit in the luxury of your home, order your favorite pickle, and wait for it to arrive at your doorstep.
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