Today we’re going to take a quick trip back in time to explore the world of pickles.
Pickles actually go back to Bible times, with the earliest known pickles showing up on the scene about 2000 years before Christ. The Bible mentions cucumbers several times in the Old Testament, although I can’t say whether it’s referring to the yummy kind found in a salty brine, or a fresh veggie.
Back in those days, I imagine food preservation was a big deal. Without a refrigerator, or year around produce at the store, finding a way to preserve your veggies must have been a game changer.
The early pickling methods likely depended on fermentation in a salt brine, which allows the good bacteria to create its distinct flavor while keeping the bad bacteria from spoiling the vegetable.
When the English came to the New World, they brought with them a different way to pickle. This pickle was a sweet pickle, made with vinegar, sugar, and spiced syrup.
The Jewish culture is especially famous for its love of pickles. According to one source, pickles were a cold weather staple for Jews living in the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Russia. They would fill barrels with cucumbers, beets, and shredded cabbage. After they fermented for several weeks in a warm location, they were moved to cool, dark cellars where they would last through the winter.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Jews from eastern Europe brought their kosher pickling method with them. Soon pickles were being sold from pushcarts in the streets of New York City.
Of course, this is just scratching the surface. There are Russian tomato pickles, Korean kimchi, Japanese plums and radishes, and Italian eggplants and peppers. Is your mouth watering yet?
Our Pickled Baby Beets are unquestionably our most popular “pickle”. Runner-ups include our Old Fashioned Dill Pickles and our Bread & Butter Squash.
Time will tell where our Spiced Peaches will rank, but so far they've been pretty popular.
Our Southern Chow Chow and Corn Relish are delicious too, but they’re a bit more polarizing :)
If you like taste bud adventures, you really need to try all of our pickled veggies (and fruit) for yourself.
Have a flavorful day!
Trish & Crew