Stories from Mithila

3 Common Myths and Misconceptions about Pickles in Popular Culture

by Kalpana Jha on Oct 28, 2022

I want to share the 3 most common misconceptions about pickles.

We’ve gathered this after serving 35,000+ orders in the last year.

#1. Fresh Pickles are NOT better than Old Pickles.

To be honest, there is nothing exciting about fresh pickles.

You see, people invented the art of pickling to preseve food for long periods of time. 

We make pickles because they last for years. 

You can come back after 6 months, or a year, and the pickle is still as good as it was after a couple of weeks of pickling, if not better.

Yes, as pickles age, say between 6-12 months old, they tend to get tastier.

This is true for 90% of pickles at our store. In fact, we hold and store the pickles in martabaans for at least 30-90 days, before sending out the first jar to a customer.


In some cases where we’ve rushed to sell a batch before it has been aged for 90 days, their reviews were not as exceptional.

The process is similar to slow cooking.

We need to give enough time under the sun, and then in martabans for the fruits, spices, and masala to naturally blend, and produce a flavour, texture and taste that is worthy of the wait. 

Perhaps, in a few years’ time, we’ll have a separate category for aged pickles on our store.

#2. Black(ish) Color in Pickles DOES NOT Mean It’s Gone Bad.

Pickles come in many different colors.

Its color depends on the ingredients.

Invariably, all pickles take darker shades as they age.

But it’s not because they go bad. The reason has to do with Iron. 


You see, Amla or Jackfruit pickles have high iron content in the fruit.

Naturally, chunks of Amla or Jackfruit that are not completely dipped in oil will turn black.

Even if it’s just been a week since they were pickled.

Many a times a simple stir of the pickle, mind you with a dry spoon, can reveal the real colours of the pickle!

As soon the pieces on top go down, and are again drained in oil sitting at the bottom of the jar, they’ll get yellowish from the darker shades.

Sookha Bharua Mango Pickle, on the other hand, is dark brown, and blackish right from the start.

Because it has Black Mustard as an ingredient, which determines the overall colour of the pickle.

In the case of Spicy Green Chilli Pickle, because we sun-dry it for 12 days at least, it turns dark green!

And the masala mix is also dark brown.

Or maybe the word Green in the name perhaps can make you find the darker shades odd.

That may lead you to think that’s bad!
But let me assure you, it is NOT.

#3. Tangy or Sour Taste DOES NOT always mean Vinegar!

It's probably because many pickles in the market have used excessive vinegar for preservation over the years.

However, in JhaJi Store, we don’t use vinegar in almost all of our products.


The single exception is Imli Ki Chutney

This has sugarcane vinegar in small quantities. Because that’s how the chutney has always been traditionally made in Bihar.

In all other pickles, the tanginess is due to the ingredients, primarily Lemon Juice, or Aamchoor.

Even yellow mustard which forms the base of most spice mixes for our pickles has a sour aftertaste.

Often customers who are coming across Bihari pickles for the first time will experience these eastern flavors for the first time. 

On JhaJi Store, our pickles are mostly tangy, sour, and generally on the spicier side 😊 

प्रेम सहित,

Kalpana Jha

Chief Pickle Maker, JhaJi Store, 

In Laherisarai, Darbhanga

"पग-पग पोखर माछ मखान

सरस बोल मुस्की मुख पान

इ थीक मिथिलाक पहचान"

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