A pickled cucumber is a cucumber that has been pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time, by either immersing the cucumbers in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation. People have been eating pickles ever since the Mesopotamians started making them way back in 2400 B.C.E. Here are some even more interesting facts you should know about them!
1. Ancient Egyptian queen Cleopatra claimed pickles made her beautiful.
2. The Department of Agriculture estimates that the average American eats 8.5 lbs of pickles a year.
3. Pickles have been around since ancient times, although there is some disagreement as to when exactly in history people started eating them. Some believe the first pickle was created in Mesopotamia in 2400 B.C.E. Others believe it was as early as 2030 B.C.E.
4. When the Philadelphia Eagles thrashed the Dallas Cowboys in sweltering heat in September 2000, many of the players attributed their win to one thing: guzzling down immense quantities of ice-cold pickle juice.
5. The phrase “in a pickle” was first introduced by Shakespeare in his play, The Tempest. The quotes read, “How cam’st thou in this pickle?” and “I have been in such a pickle”
6. November 14th is National Pickle Day.
7. If it weren’t for pickles, Christopher Columbus might never have “discovered” America. In his famous 1492 voyage, Columbus rationed pickles to his sailors to keep them from getting scurvy. He even grew cucumbers during a pitstop in Haiti to restock for the rest of the voyage.
8. Sweet pickles are made by soaking dill pickles in strong kool-aid and are very popular in parts of Mississippi.
9. You can hear the crunch of a good pickle at 10 paces.
10. Napoleon was also a big fan of pickles. In fact, he put up the equivalent of $250,000 as a prize to whoever could figure out the best way to pickle and preserve foods for his troops.
11. In Connecticut in order for a pickle to officially be considered a pickle, it must bounce.
12. The majority of pickle factories in America ferment their pickles in outdoor vats without lids leaving them subject to insects and bird droppings! But there’s a reason. According to food scientists, the sun’s direct rays prevent yeast and molds from growing in the brine.
13. In the Pacific Islands, natives pickle their foods in holes in the ground lined with banana leaves, and use them as food reserves in case of storms. The pickles are so valuable that they’ve become part of the courting process, helping a man prove he’ll be able to provide for a woman. In Fiji, guys can’t get a girl without first showing her parents his pickle pits.
14. Old-time picklers couldn’t accurately measure the salt needed for making pickle brines, since the density of commercially bought salt varied from year to year. To get around this potential problem—too little or too much salt can cause pickles to spoil—many recipes recommended using “enough salt to float an egg” in the brine. While this method yielded fermented pickles that could keep all winter, they were too salty to be eaten. Picklers had to soak the pickles in water for days to make them edible.
15. Pickling vegetables not only improves their flavor, it can also make them more nutritious and easier to digest. During fermentation, bacteria produce vitamins as they digest vegetable matter.
16. Pickle Rick!!!