Pickles add flavor to food. Use of pickles has come down from the ages. Mesopotamians were perhaps the first people to make pickles way back in 2500 B.C.E. Nowadays pickle making has become a great business as it is consumed all over the world.
Fact 1 Use Of Pickles
Natives living on the Pacific Islands, pickle their foods in holes in the ground that are lined with banana leaves. They store them for use during bad weather conditions and storms when food is not available. In Fiji, pickle pits are considered a sign of ability to maintain a family and after the groom shows his pickle pits, a marriage is arranged. It has been heard that Cleopatra claimed that her beauty was largely due to her consumption of pickles. Kids of the Delta region of Mississippi, love the Kool-Aid pickles that are sold at fairs also. It is believed that Christopher Columbus would not have survived the voyages with his men without pickles which he stored for his sailors to protect them from getting scurvy. Napoleon also loved pickles and he declared a prize of $250,000 to whoever could invent the best way to pickle and preserve food for his troops.
Fact 2 Importance Of Measuring Salt In Pickles
Making pickles or pickling is not an easy affair. Apart from the brine and other spices it requires the appropriate amount of salt for taste and preservation. Previously, those who prepared pickles, could not measure the salt needed accurately because the density of the salt available varied every year. Although the pickles could be preserved throughout the winter, excess salt sometimes made them inedible. They had to soak the pickles in water to reduce the amount of salt before they could use them.
Fact 3 Open Air Pickle Tanks
In America, most of the pickle factories ferment their products in outdoor vats without lids so that the sun’s rays prevent yeast and molds from growing in the brine. Most of the pickles were made of cucumber but later other fruits were also used. Keeping the lids open was unhygienic and gradually the system was changed.
Fact 4 Pickling Is An Art
Preparing tasty and wholesome pickles is an art and today it has become a big industry. Everything is done scientifically and the method of preparation is carried out by machines and not bare hands. Various types of fruits, vegetables and spices are used to make them tasty and special preservatives are used that are certified by the governments. Indian pickles have a unique taste and their variety is endless. From the sweet to the sweet and sour, hot and sweet, simply hot and sour or fresh lemons soaked in lemon juice and salt are amazing. You will get fish pickle also.
Fact 5 Usefulness Of Pickle Brine
Pickle brine is considered to have curative functions apart from its culinary features. The complex flavor of spices, salt, vinegar and pickled vegetables or fruits are used as a soup stock, a hangover remedy, a drink, an appetizer and also to add extra flavor to food.
Pickling vegetables make them more nutritious and easier to digest. When they are left out in the sun, although covered, the bacteria produce vitamins. Well-made pickles not only have great taste and flavor but are good for health too. According to Korean scientists, a traditional pickled cabbage is rich in vitamins B1, B2 and B12. However excessive use of pickles especially which are oily and salty are not good for people with high blood pressure of other health problems. Consuming pickles in appropriate quantity is however good for skin and hair as most of them contain different types of vitamins and essential nutrients.