Take Your Pick– of all things Pickle!

close up photo of green cucumbers in vinegar being pickled

The word “pickle” comes from the German word pόkel, meaning salt or brine, which are two very important parts in the pickling process. Pickling dates back centuries and it has remained a steadfast method of preserving foods over a long period of time. Early settlers used this process to preserve foods, especially over the winter months. Fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat and other foods are submerged in an acidic or salty liquid and sealed, usually in glass jars, making the contents less likely to spoil.

Pickled cucumbers are the most popular due to the variety of options that include dill, sweet, bread and butter, Gherkin, Polish, hot and sour, garlic and candied. Other foods often pickled include eggs, three-bean salad, watermelon rinds, red beets, and a mix of baby onions, carrots and cauliflower. When there isn’t time for the whole pickling and canning process, “quick-pickling” may be a tasty new way to add some zip to your favorite foods. The quick-pickling process consists of adding a splash of white or red vinegar and a pinch of sugar to thinly sliced vegetables and microwaving for 30 seconds.

In recent years, pickles have seen a surge in popularity with pickle-flavored cosmetics, juice, soda, chips, popcorn, liquor, ice cream, nuts, and candy as well as deep fried pickles, pickle-patterned home decor and pickle holiday ornaments. (Traditionally speaking, that pickle ornament will bring a year of good luck!)

Take your pick on November 14, National Pickle Day and open a jar of your favorite pickled item, add to a burger, taco, or pizza, or eat as a side dish. Be adventurous and pick up a new pickle-flavored product and enjoy!

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