I'm going to make some pickles (if I can find some good cucs and some dill heads..) but I cannot find pickling salt here. McGee says that the impurities in an unrefined sea salt can actually improve the pickles. What say ye, picklers?
Worst case it'll discolor your pickles. If you use it you need to replace by weight, not volume, and according to this website 1 tbsp of pickling salt weighs 3/4 oz (about 21 grams.) http://www.foodinjars.com/2010/08/canning-101-on-substituting-salt-in-pickling/
Yah- I agree w hardlikearmour- it's the anticaking agent in regular salt which I think can discolor the pickles or pickling water- I am able to get pickling salt in a hardware store here-- Also- foodinjars is a pretty fun website. Enjoy!! I LOVE CANNING. :)
I also had a hard time finding pickling salt until I happened to check a hardware store and a big grocery in an area near many small farms - and they had all kinds of canning supplies. Since then, I have found supplies in both upscale cookware stores and a grocery in a neighborhood in a very diverse area. I am sure it's also a very seasonal product. You can buy online from the makers of Ball/Kerr jars: http://www.freshpreserving.com/pages/home/258.php?pid=293&product=308.
Thanks, all. Think I'll try some sea salt and see how it goes. Just can't find anyone here who does canning supplies. Mail order from the US just doesn't work, though I often have visitors bring stuff. Even jars were a bit of a stretch. Think I'll end up using skinny baby cucs as well, no decent pickling cucs to be had here. I've had my produce dealer looking, but no one seems to be growing them here any longer.
I know this may be politically incorrect but Walmart always has pickling salt. Check in the canning area and in the regular salt area near the Kosher salt.
Walmart hasn't yet come to South Africa...