Don’t pepper our pickle

Step aside kale. Take a seat avocado. Move over blueberries. If you want to try out the latest foods with super health benefits then look no further than the techniques of pickling and fermenting.

Although the term pickling may bring to mind pickled beetroot or cucumber, it applies to a massive variety of foods and is a great source of nutrients as well as being a great preservation technique.

With our Sussex chefs constantly looking to experiment and get creative in their kitchen, the idea of pickling and fermenting has added a whole new dimension to their dishes.

At The Set restaurant in Brighton’s Regency Square the chefs have been experimenting with these techniques for a while and have recently built a fermenting room in an old cellar under the restaurant, known as the “cave”.


“It’s the perfect cool temperature and dry environment for us to create some delicious pickled and fermented food goodness,” says Semone Bonner, Co-Founder of The Set.

“Pickling and fermenting not only allows you to store food long past their shelf life by preserving with vinegar, salt and sugar but also alters and changes the flavour, in some cases making subtle flavours stronger and, likewise, strong flavours more mellow and palatable.

“At The Set we don’t use pepper to season dishes, its controversial but makes so much sense when you break down what makes a balanced dish: you need sweetness, sour, bitter and salt.

“At no point is pepper or spice required to “balance a dish” so here pepper is replaced by vinegar or citrus juice. How much nicer is a parfait with some pickled shallots, your burger with a gherkin or lemon juice on your fish?”

“Give it a go with your next batch of trimmings. You’ll be surprised at what amazing creations you could be putting on your plate at home in a matter of weeks and helping the environment as you go.”

About Nick Mosley
As food festivals director and awards co-ordinator Nick writes occasional columns for Title Sussex Magazine focusing on the freshest and finest cuisine from across the county. He can be found Tweeting @BrightonNick