Why This Recipe Works
Most store-bought pickled jalapeños are preserved in a vinegar brine and seasoned with bay leaf and onion. Their flavor is not complex. To add deeper flavors, we ferment our jalapeños and add shallot and garlic. Cumin seeds lend earthiness while lime zest adds brightness. Over time, we found that the jalapeños took on complex floral notes and also increased in spiciness since the cell walls of the chiles continued to break down, releasing more of the spicy capsaicinoid compounds.