Celebrating The Pickle…

Happy National Pickle Day – observed annually on November 14.

The term pickle comes from the Dutch word pekel, meaning brine. In the United States, the word pickle typically refers to a pickled cucumber.

– Each year in the United States, 5,200,000 pounds of pickles are consumed.

– Pickles are a great snack, low in calories and a good source of vitamin K, though they can be high in sodium.

– When served on a stick at festivals, fairs or carnivals, pickles are sometimes known as “stick pickles”.

– A rising trend in the United States is deep-fried pickles which have a breading or batter surrounding the pickle spear or slice.

– For thousands of years, pickles have been a popular food dating back to 2030 B.C. At that time, cucumbers were imported from India to the Tigris Valley where they were first preserved and eaten as pickles.

– Cleopatra attributed her good looks to her diet of pickles.

– Julius Caesar fed pickles to his troops believing that they lent physical and spiritual strength.

Like pickled vegetables such as sauerkraut, sour pickled cucumbers (technically a fruit) are low in calories. They also contain a moderate amount of vitamin K, specifically in the form of K1. 30-gram sour pickled cucumber offers 12–16 µg, or approximately 15–20%, of the Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamin K. It also offers 3 kilocalories (13 kJ), most of which come from carbohydrate. However, most sour pickled cucumbers are also high in sodium; one pickled cucumber can contain 350–500 mg, or 15–20% of the American recommended daily limit of 2400 mg.

Sweet pickled cucumbers, including bread-and-butter pickles, are higher in calories due to their sugar content; a similar 30-gram portion may contain 20 to 30 kilocalories (84 to 126 kJ). Sweet pickled cucumbers also tend to contain significantly less sodium than sour pickles.

Pickles are being researched for their ability to act as vegetables with a high probiotic content. Probiotics are typically associated with dairy products, but lactobacilli species such as L. plantarum and L. brevis have been shown to add to the nutritional value of pickles.

Dill, Gherkin, Cornichon, Brined, Kosher Dill, Polish, Hungarian, Lime, Bread and Butter, Swedish and Danish, or Kool-Aid Pickle. Whichever is your choice, eat them all day long.

Chris Edwards Napa 2017

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