November 14 – National Pickle Day

Posted on November 14, 2015

One way of making fruits and vegetables last is to pickle them – that is, to preserve them (bottle or can them) in vinegar or brine.

And so we have olives, pickled beets, pickled jalapeno peppers, pickled cabbage (sauerkraut), pickled turnip kimchi, pickled celery, pickled pears and lemons and tomatoes and pumpkins and pineapple and corn and grapes and on and on...

And it's not just fruits and vegetables that can be pickled – people also pickle fish and eggs and meat (corned beef and ham are two familiar examples of pickled meats).

But in the United States, although we use the word “to pickle” to mean soaking any and all of these foods in brine or vinegar, when we use “pickle” as a noun, we mean a pickled cucumber.

Here are some favorite flavors of pickles:

  • dill pickles
  • gherkin pickles
  • Kosher dill pickles
  • bread and butter pickles
  • sweet pickles

And there are all sorts of other flavors of pickles to be had:

  • farmer's garden pickles
  • sea salt and peppercorn pickles
  • garlic pickles
  • tabasco dill pickles
  • jalapeno bread and butter pickles
  • sweet heat pickles

And of course people sell pickles whole - ranging from huge pickles on sticks at the fair down to “baby” pickles...

...or cut into spears, slices, “chips,” or “stackers.”

Oh, and speaking of pickles at the fair...of course some people buy and sell fried pickles!

I don't know why anyone would want to take a perfectly delicious low-cal food like a pickle and fry it!? Something that might be more fun is making your own pickles. Maybe you, like loads of people, have special family pickle recipes, but if you don't, maybe you can start a new tradition. Here is a “How-to” website that details and illustrated making pickles with kids. 

Have you ever tried
dill pickle flavored
potato chips?
Did you know...?

  • The word pickle comes from the Dutch word for brine, pekel.
  • Cleopatra claimed she got her beauty from eating pickles, and Julius Caesar believed that feeding pickles to his troops made them strong.
  • Every year more than five MILLION pounds of pickles are eaten in the U.S. alone!

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