Jar of pickles
The Easy Secret To Getting The Crunchiest Home-Canned Pickles
By Elaina Friedman
Perfect your pickle-making skills by adding tannins to your brining liquid, particularly fresh grape leaves, to help prevent mushy pickled veggies.
Tannins are often used in the wine world to help classify dry reds or oak-aged whites, which produce an "astringent, mouth-coating feeling," according to Wine Enthusiast.
Tannins are polyphenols found in certain plants, like grape leaves. They "bind readily with proteins, cellulose, starches, and minerals," protecting substances from decomposition.
Adding tannin-rich ingredients to pickle brine won't make it taste like red wine — it'll simply keep the pickles firm and provide extra crunch.
Canned and jarred grape leaves are often found at the supermarket, but fresh ones are mostly found at specialty food shops or online.
Fresh oak, cherry, horseradish, green banana, bay, and loose-leaf tea leaves are all great alternatives to grape leaves.
To make the brine, mix one tablespoon of salt with ½ cup of white distilled vinegar, ½ cup of water, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and a teaspoon of "mildly flavored" tea leaves.