November 14 is Pickle Day, a day to stock up your larders and pantries with pickles and add to pickles to every meal you eat.
Also known as National Pickle Day in the United States, the unofficial holiday was first celebrated in 2001 in New York.
Kills Harmful Bacteria
In common usage, the term pickles is usually used to refer to cucumbers that are preserved in brine – salted water – with spices and herbs. In general, however, pickles are vegetables, fruits and other food items that are preserved in brine, salt and oil, or vinegar. The process is called pickling, an dit kills bacteria in food, either by immersing them in an acidic solution, such as vinegar, or by fermentation. This increases the lifespan of the food item and also changes its texture and taste.
The phrase getting into a pickle is also sometimes used for when someone gets into trouble.
Consumed Since Antiquity
Humans have been making pickles since antiquity. It is believed that ancient Egyptians were the first ones to use the pickling process by preserving cucumbers brought from India. The Romans believed in the healing powers of pickles, while sources suggest that Cleopatra credited her beauty to the consumtion of pickles.
Many Different Kinds
Today, pickles are made all over the world and usually consumed as accompniments to main meals. In India and South Asia, where pickles are called achaar, vegetables and fruits are pickled in oil, salt and a variety of spices. In Korea, cabbage and chilis are fermented with salt to make kimchi, while people in Turkey, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries pickle a variety of vegetables including carrots, tomatoes, eggplants, turnips, and olives.
Pickles are also widely eaten in Europe. In the United Kingdom, pickled eggs are a popular bar food, while pickled herrings are easily available in Scandinavia and the Netherlands. In the US pickles are usually served with sandwiches and in burgers.
How to Celebrate?
With pickles, of course! Have pickles with all your meals and for all your snacks during the day.
Get together with family and friends and spend the day pickling your favorite vegetables. Don't forget to share with others!
Did You Know…
...that in the old days, Christopher Columbus used pickles as a way to ward off scurvy among his crew on the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria?