Add Some MSG to Your Next Pickle

I love the whole spectrum of pickles—sweet, sour, semi-sour, etc.—but my favorite kind of pickle is the one that tastes so aggressive it’s almost uncomfortable to eat. I like the complex cucumber, the cucumber that will win over smaller women. Adding monosodium glutamate to my pickles helps me achieve this.

When talking about monosodium glutamate, it’s important not to equate spiciness with saltiness. Salt tastes like sodium, and monosodium glutamate tastes like sodium and glutamic acid, the amino acid that gives tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and meats the flavor they are known for. This is the umami you’ve heard so much about, and it has a rounder, meatier flavor that fills your entire palate to the very end.

Even though I use monosodium glutamate to make almost hostile-tasting pickles, you don’t have to get so aggressive. Sprinkle with a pinch and you’ll barely notice the addition, except for the fact that your pickles will taste a little better. If you want a pickle with a deeper umami flavor, try adding 1/4 teaspoon to a jar of homemade pickle. If you want the cucumber to be rich, like sprinkled with Cool Ranch Dorito, add 1/2 teaspoon.

Umami-flavored pickles are fun, but MSG gives the pickled onion that onion-like sauce. I think cauliflower marinated in monosodium glutamate would also be delicious. Whatever vegetable you choose to pickle, start with a simple and quick pickle from the fridge so you can really taste what MSG brings to the table, then add other herbs, spices, onions and peppers once you hit savory levels. where you want them. You can use any pickle you like, but I think the one below is pretty good. (Use leftover brine to make a dirty martini .)

Super Spicy Pickles with Monosodium Glutamate


  • 1 large cucumber or any other vegetable to fill a one liter jar or soup container
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon monosodium glutamate

Cut or mash a cucumber (or other vegetable) into your desired marinade shape and place them in a soup jar or container. Add all remaining ingredients to a small saucepan and heat to a boil, stirring to dissolve the solutes. Remove brine from heat and pour over cucumbers. Cover loosely and let come to room temperature on the counter, then refrigerate overnight before chewing.


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