two main kinds of pickles, one of which gets its tang from bacteria.) The bread stuffs went into the freezer, and the pickles went into the fridge.
I grew up eating kosher dills and half-sours. Until recently, I thought that a half-sour was made with vinegar, as many other pickles are. I figured they were taken out of the brine when half-done. But no, it turns out that half-sours are fermented in a low-salt brine. They contain no vinegar.
One food writer, John Thorne, described half-sours as "cucumbers still, not pickles—little cucumbers who [have] died and gone to heaven." I believe that is an apt description. A half-sour has the crunch and freshness of a firm little cucumber with a little bite. You can eat them in quantity.
When I was a kid, many delis put out free bowls of half-sours for diners to munch on while they waited for their food. Rein's Deli, off Rt. 84 outside of Hartford, CT, still does this. When I visited some family members in Connecticut last week, I stopped by Rein's on my way home and filled a shopping bag with rye bread, rugelah, and half-sours. I guess some things never change.