Cured meat with pickled Amla and some crackers.
I am happy and relieved to report that the outcome of the pickled Amla did not go down the drain. The process of natural fermentation progressed very smoothly without any UFOs (unidentified floating objects) appearing and igniting my imagination for the worst. The jarringly sour, bitter and astringent character present in the fresh fruit has been totally transformed. These little pickled fruits remind me a lot of traditional salted olives and this is how I have been eating them.
After 1 month the entire fruit has been uniformly pickled. Despite the dense flesh of the Amla fruit the above picture shows that the brine has penetrated all the way to the core of the fruit.
The outcome that was achieved from this batch of pickled Amla provided a remarkably clean and satisfying result. These bite size fruits have an aroma of light herbs. The dense flesh is rich in fiber and has a slight grainy texture when chewed. There is a nice balance of tanginess, salt and herbs in the character that make these pickled Amlas an ideal complement for cured meats and smoke fish. The herbal note in the pickled fruit makes me wonder how much of it was an influence from the Jingmai brew (if any) that was added in making the brine solution. In future I will further explore how different teas used in creating the tea brine solution can influence the outcome of natural fermentation.