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The Pickle Problem


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I'm not wasting any time, just dropping thought provoking questions about the pickling system.


  • Why does the jar lid vanquishes when opening the jar?
  • Why does it require sugar (for fermentation) but also boiling (sterilization)? Wouldn't the boiling make any fermentation impossible and sugar redundant?
  • Why does it require sugar at all, seeing how even fermentation IRL doesn't require sugar?
  • Wouldn't sugar/fermentation alter the final product?
  • Why is boiling a requirement? A pickling mixture with vinegar and water is already meant to be sterile
  • Why does the pickle outside the jar last forever?

Basically the game conflates fermentation with long-term shelfing. It requires things that contradict each goal, it vanquishes with the jar lid, Boiling is a modern-world high-standard that is not a requirement for pickles seeing how not long ago people were selling pickles in open wooden barrels in the streets of New York, worth noting that the great navigators and ancient civilizations also just pickled food by tossing vinegar and water in any container.



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A proper pickle recipe could be:

  • 2 units of water
  • 2 units of vinegar
  • produce
  • jar + lid (and the lid is given back to you)

The current recipe uses 10 units of water, this might be too much. You have to keep in mind that the produce will occupy much of the jar, so 2 units which are 2 cups in-game is already enough. It's the apocalypse after all, taking frugality into account it could even be 1 unit of vinegar and 1 unit of water, no sugar, no fermentation, no boiling, and that alone should last a full year bare-mininum before it begins to get stale.

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Someone please correct me if I am wrong.


A canning lid should never be reused in most canning that I know of.  It is guaranteed to give an air tight seal only once. 

IIRC, when it seals you should either hear a 'pop' or see an indentation on the lid.

You boil and give them a 'bath' to kill any bugs introduced during the filling of the jar and to ensure an airtight seal. 

You also boil the jars and equipment before using them.

Canning is all about killing bugs and getting a good seal.  Boiling water adds in both.

Canning is a very meticulous and hygenic process.  

Pickles don't really last forever, but the high acid content lets it stay edible for a long time.


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Yes, in addition to conflating fermenting with vinegar pickling, perhaps the lid aspect is also an aspect of vacuum canning paired with sterilization. There's no need for canning.


Microbes help to keep pickles acidic, when the acidity drops some bacteria will lightly consume the produce and produce vinegar. Meaning in the event that the pickle jar isn't 100% deadly to microbes, a few microbes that will do the anaerobic fermentation in the high-acidity of the jar will make sure the ph is bumped lower, so the produce is effectively conserving itself by producing its own vinegar; this is why vinegar and pickling are the bedrock of ancient civilizations.

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There were some really interesting ancient food preservation processes.  The whole topic is interesting. 

Canning is somewhat popular where I am from.  Stores still stock a lot of canning material.

 I know people whose basement is full of all sorts of canned veggies.  

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