Pickles, or tsukemono, are the unsung heroes of Japanese cuisine. For thousands of years pickles have quietly played their role as side-dish but I don’t think I’m alone in admitting that I’ve often enjoyed them as a main dish, along with a bowl of white rice. But when designer and foodie Tomonori Tanaka tried his hand at making pickles last year he found it harder than expected.
For one thing, the plastic pickle-making containers (here’s an example of one) were too big and wouldn’t fit in his small refrigerator. And the twisting lid made it hard to apply downward pressure evenly. And it was ugly. In short, pickle-making tools hadn’t evolved to be compatible with his lifestyle, so Tanaka decided to design his own.
The Picklestone is everything a modern-day pickle-maker would want. Simply add your vegetables and pickle brine (typically salt, chili pepper, and konbu kelp) to the jar and slide the hinoki cypress wooden lid over the vegetables. Then place the pickle stone on top and let it do the rest. The compact container is designed to fit right into the liquids shelf of your refrigerator next to your milk and juice.