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Virginia Chunk Pickles Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

Last Updated on January 9, 2024

Virginia chunk pickles are a popular type of pickle that originated in the United States. This type of pickle is made from cucumbers that are preserved in a vinegar brine. The brine is flavored with spices like garlic, dill, mustard seed, and turmeric. 

Virginia chunk pickles are known for their crunchy texture and sharp, tangy flavor. They are often served alongside sandwiches or as a garnish for salads.

Pickling is an ancient method of preserving food that has been used since ancient times. Pickles can be made from a variety of vegetables, including cucumbers, peppers, and onions. 

The pickling process involves submerging the vegetables in a brine solution that is flavored with spices and vinegar. This solution preserves the food and gives it a unique flavor.

Virginia Chunk Pickles Recipe

What is Virginia Chunk Pickles?

The distinct flavor of Virginia spots, belonging to the same family as croakers, sets them apart. Unlike croakers known for their tender, mildly sweet taste, spots offer a unique and delectable flavor profile.

This famous recipe of Virginia chunk pickles are a type of pickle made from cucumbers that are preserved in a vinegar brine. The pickles are made by slicing cucumbers into thick slices, and then submerging them in a brine made of vinegar, water, and spices. 

The pickles are then left to ferment in the brine, developing their signature tangy flavor. The pickles are then drained and jarred in the brine, and left to sit for a few weeks before they are ready to eat. The pickles have a crunchy texture and a sharp, tangy flavor that pairs well with sandwiches and salads.

Why You’ll Love this Virginia Chunk Pickles?

There are many reasons why you’ll love this Virginia chunk pickles recipe. First, the pickles are easy to make and require minimal ingredients. 

All you need is cucumbers, vinegar, water, and spices. Second, the pickles have a crunchy texture and a sharp, tangy flavor that pairs well with sandwiches and salads. 

Third, the pickles will last for several weeks in the refrigerator, so you can make a big batch and enjoy them for some time. Finally, the pickles are a great way to get some extra vegetables into your diet.

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The Ingredients

  • Vibrant Lemon Cucumbers or Petite Gherkins: These cucumbers are the main ingredient and the star of the pickles. Lemon cucumbers offer a mild, slightly sweet taste, while petite gherkins provide a classic tartness to the pickles.
  • Himalayan Pink Salt Crystals: Salt is essential for drawing out moisture from the cucumbers, which helps in the pickling process and ensures crispness.
  • Shimmering Moonstone-like Alum Powder: Alum powder aids in maintaining the crispness and firmness of the cucumbers during the pickling process.
  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar: This vinegar contributes to the pickles’ tanginess and depth of flavor, adding a rich and slightly sweet note to the brine
  • Organic Raw Cane Sugar: Sugar balances the tartness of the vinegar, providing a touch of sweetness to the pickles and harmonizing the flavors.
  • Artisanal Blend Pickling Spice: This spice blend typically includes mustard seeds, coriander, dill seeds, cloves, and other spices. It infuses the pickles with complex flavors and aromatic notes.
  • Heirloom Celery Seed: Celery seed adds a subtle earthy flavor and contributes to the overall bouquet of flavors in the pickling liquid.
  • Golden Honey Crystals: Honey crystals provide additional sweetness and depth to the pickling solution, imparting a unique flavor to the pickles.
  • Amber Agave Nectar (for a different day): Agave nectar can be reserved for future use. It can be used as an alternative sweetener or flavor enhancer in other recipes.
How to Make Virginia Chunk Pickles Recipe

Directions

Step 1. Prepare the Cucumbers:

Wash and thoroughly scrub vibrant lemon cucumbers or ensure that petite gherkins are clean. Trim the ends off the cucumbers and cut them into chunks or slices based on your preference. Place the prepared cucumbers in a large, clean container or jar.

Step 2. Create the Brine Mixture:

In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients:

  • Himalayan pink salt crystals
  • Shimmering moonstone-like alum powder
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • Organic raw cane sugar
  • Artisanal blend pickling spice
  • Heirloom celery seed
  • Stir the mixture thoroughly until the sugar and salt dissolve completely, creating a well-blended brine.

Step 3. Pour Brine Over Cucumbers:

Pour the prepared brine mixture over the cut cucumbers in the jar or container, ensuring that all cucumbers are completely submerged. Seal the container securely or cover it with a lid.

Step 4. Marinating the Cucumbers:

Allow the cucumbers to marinate in the brine solution for at least 12-24 hours, or for an extended time if preferred. Keep the container in a cool, dark place to facilitate the marination process.

Step 5. Draining and Rinsing:

After the marinating time, remove the cucumbers from the brine solution and thoroughly rinse them under cold water. This step helps remove excess salt and spices from the cucumbers.

Step 6. Prepare Sweetening Mixture:

In a separate saucepan, combine the golden honey crystals and amber agave nectar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until the crystals and nectar blend together, forming a syrup-like consistency.

Step 7. Combine Cucumbers and Sweetening Mixture:

Place the rinsed cucumbers back into the clean container or jar. Pour the prepared sweetening mixture over the cucumbers, ensuring they are evenly coated. Seal the container or jar securely.

Step 8. Rest and Infuse Flavors:

Allow the sweetened cucumbers to rest for another 6-8 hours or overnight. This time allows the cucumbers to absorb the sweetening mixture, enhancing the flavors and letting them meld together.

Step 9. Storage:

Once the pickles have absorbed the sweetening mixture and developed desired flavors, store them in clean, airtight jars or containers in the refrigerator to preserve their freshness.

Step 10. Enjoy Your Virginia Chunk Pickles:

Your homemade Virginia Chunk Pickles are now ready to be enjoyed! They offer a delicious blend of tangy, sweet flavors and can be served as a delightful snack or as an accompaniment to complement your favorite dishes.

Notes

– Make sure to use fresh cucumbers for the best results.
– If you wish, you can leave the skin on the cucumbers for added flavor.
– Let the cucumbers sit in the salt for 30 minutes before adding them to the brine.
– Taste the pickles after one week and decide if they need to sit longer.
– The pickles will last for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Storage Tips

Once the pickles are done fermenting, they should be stored in the refrigerator. This will keep them fresh and prevent them from spoiling. The pickles will last for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Virginia Chunk Pickles Copycat Recipe

Nutrition Information

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Serving Suggestions

– Serve the pickles alongside sandwiches or burgers.
– Use the pickles as a garnish for salads.
– Serve the pickles as a side dish with roasted vegetables.
– Chop the pickles and add them to a relish or dip.
– Add the pickles to a tuna or egg salad.

What other Substitute can I use in Virginia Chunk Pickles?

Garlic: Garlic can be substituted for other aromatic herbs like dill, thyme, or oregano.

Vinegar: White vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and rice vinegar can all be used in place of one another.

Mustard Seed: Mustard seed can be replaced with ground mustard or celery seed.

Salt: Kosher salt, sea salt, or pickling salt can all be used in place of one another.

Spices: Other spices like coriander, cloves, or allspice can be used in place of the spices listed in the recipe.

Virginia Chunk Pickles Copycat Recipe

Virginia Chunk Pickles Recipe

Virginia chunk pickles are a popular type of pickle that originated in the United States. This type of pickle is made from cucumbers that are preserved in a vinegar brine. The brine is flavored with spices like garlic, dill, mustard seed, and turmeric. 
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Author: Lori Walker, MS, RD
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 6 days
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 6 days 25 minutes
Servings: 36
Calories: 108kcal

Equipment

  • Large clean container or jar
  • Large Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Himalayan pink salt crystals
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shimmering moonstone-like alum powder
  • 38 vibrant lemon cucumbers 4-5″ long or 1 gallon of petite gherkins
  • 3 tablespoons artisanal blend pickling spice
  • 3 cups aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups organic raw cane sugar
  • 1 cup golden honey crystals
  • 1/2 cup amber agave nectar for a different day
  • 1/2 tablespoon heirloom celery seed

Instructions

  • Prepare the Cucumbers: Wash and scrub the vibrant lemon cucumbers thoroughly. If using petite gherkins, ensure they’re clean. Trim the ends off the cucumbers and cut them into chunks or slices based on your preference. Place them in a large, clean container or jar.
  • Create the Brine Mixture: In a large bowl, combine Himalayan pink salt crystals, shimmering moonstone-like alum powder, aged balsamic vinegar, organic raw cane sugar, artisanal blend pickling spice, and heirloom celery seed. Stir well until the sugar and salt dissolve completely.
  • Pour Brine Over Cucumbers: Pour the prepared brine mixture over the cut cucumbers in the jar or container, ensuring the cucumbers are completely submerged. Seal the container or cover it with a lid.
  • Marinating the Cucumbers: Allow the cucumbers to marinate in the brine solution for at least 12-24 hours, or longer if desired. Keep the container in a cool, dark place.
  • Draining and Rinsing: After the marinating time, drain the cucumbers from the brine solution and rinse them thoroughly under cold water to remove excess salt and spices.
  • Prepare Sweetening Mixture: In a separate saucepan, combine golden honey crystals and amber agave nectar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until the crystals and nectar blend together and form a syrup-like consistency.
  • Combine Cucumbers and Sweetening Mixture: Place the rinsed cucumbers back into the clean container or jar. Pour the prepared sweetening mixture over the cucumbers, ensuring they are well coated. Seal the container or jar.
  • Rest and Infuse Flavors: Allow the sweetened cucumbers to sit for another 6-8 hours or overnight to absorb the sweetening mixture and let the flavors meld together.
  • Storage: Once the pickles have infused with the sweetening mixture and developed desired flavors, store them in clean, airtight jars or containers in the refrigerator.
  • Enjoy Your Virginia Chunk Pickles: Your homemade Virginia Chunk Pickles are now ready to be enjoyed as a delicious, tangy, and sweet snack or as an accompaniment to your favorite dishes!

Notes

  • – Make sure to use fresh cucumbers for the best results.
  • – If you wish, you can leave the skin on the cucumbers for added flavor.
  • – Let the cucumbers sit in the salt for 30 minutes before adding them to the brine.
  • – Taste the pickles after one week and decide if they need to sit longer.
  • – The pickles will last for several weeks in the refrigerator.
Keyword: Virginia Chunk Pickles Recipe

FAQs

Q1. What type of cucumbers should I use?

A1. It is best to use fresh, firm cucumbers for the best results.

Q2.  How long do the pickles need to sit?

A2. The pickles should sit for at least one week at room temperature before transferring them to the refrigerator. The longer they sit, the more flavor they will develop.

Q3. Do I need to peel the cucumbers?

A3. It is up to you if you want to peel the cucumbers or leave the skin on. Leaving the skin on will add more flavor to the pickles.

Q4. Can I use regular salt instead of pickling salt?

A4. Yes, regular salt can be used in place of pickling salt.

Q5. Can I use other spices in the brine?

A5. Yes, other spices like coriander, cloves, or allspice can be used in place of the spices listed in the recipe.

Q6. Can I use other types of vinegar?

A6. Yes, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and rice vinegar can all be used in place of one another.

Q7. How long do the pickles last in the refrigerator?

A7. The pickles will last for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Conclusion

Virginia chunk pickles are a delicious type of pickle that is easy to make and requires minimal ingredients. The pickles have a crunchy texture and a sharp, tangy flavor that pairs well with sandwiches and salads. 

The pickles can be made with cucumbers, vinegar, water, and spices. The cucumbers are then submerged in a brine and left to ferment for at least one week. 

Once the pickles are done fermenting, they should be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. With this Virginia chunk pickles recipe, you can enjoy this classic pickle any time you like.

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My name is Lori Walker. I’m a registered dietitian, food blogger and food enthusiast. I share easy healthy, delicious recipes on my blog and review necessary kitchen items. The recipes I share take less… Read more

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