We would be remiss to overlook the humble pickle in a discussion on preservation.
But we were tempted to do so out of sheer exhaustion: The veg-in-vinegar equation has been explored ad nauseam in the last few years; yes, we're as guilty as anyone.
So we're giving cucumbers, beets, carrots and peppers a rest for the moment and focusing instead on vinegar's new best girl: shrimp.
Pickled shrimp (see the recipe) is finding its way from the vintage church cookbook to dining room table. Charleston may be the dish's unofficial capital, and we've had excellent versions from Husk's Sean Brock and the new sandwich shop Butcher & Bee. New Orleans, equally devoted to shrimp, has great iterations at Cochon (where it's served with cheese straws) and Root.
But the dish has also made inroads elsewhere in the States. At Little Bird in Portland, Oregon, pickled shrimp update a salad of grilled Little Gem lettuces. And in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Barry Maiden's Hungry Mother offers the dish as a special. Even Los Angeles's most exciting pop-up of the summer, Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, served pickled shrimp with a zucchini relish and buttermilk dressing.
Heads and tails more interesting than a cuke, we say.