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How Did Pickling Originate - The History Of Pickles
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I usually hate history lessons. Unless there’s food involved. So don’t use this against me.
The history of pickles takes us far back in time. According to most archaeological estimates, pickling began about 4000 years ago in Mesopotamia using cucumbers native to India. It’s generally acknowledged that pickling then rapidly spread to Asia, Greece, and Egypt.
Mesopotamia, 4000 years back: Clearly, nobody had a fridge
How Did Pickling Begin?
People initially engaged in pickling only so that they could preserve the foods that weren’t available in that season. Another purpose was for preserving food during long voyages, especially by sea. Soon after, pickles began to be consumed by certain sections of people purely because of their peculiar taste – and I can’t thank these people enough!
How Did Pickle Get Its Name?
The word pickle came from the Dutch word pekel, which means ‘brine,’ or water saturated with salt. Today however, you’ll hear pickle being called by different local and regional names.
Pickling Over The Years
The BC Years
According to findings, ancient Mesopotamians began pickling in 2400 BC. It picked up speed in the Tigris Valley after cucumbers native to India were brought into this region.
People soon began to unearth the therapeutic powers contained in pickles. Cleopatra ate pickles as it helped her look beautiful. And the emperors of Rome, including Julius Caesar, ensured that their troops ate pickles to obtain spiritual and physical strength.
The Dark Ages
In the dark ages, the year 900 was a significant year for pickles. The aromatic herb dill, used in the making of pickles, was introduced to Western Europe from Sumatra.
The Fifteenth And Sixteenth Centuries
Pickles were now a common snack in England. Queen Elizabeth had a special liking for pickles, and Shakespeare was peppering his prose with the use of pickles.
Shakespeare found a more interesting use for pickle: he invented a phrase out of it!
When the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci decided to undertake the long and revolutionary voyage to the New World, he stocked his ships up with barrels of pickles. This was from experience as he was earlier a pickle peddler in Spain. However, it was Christopher Columbus who brought pickles to the New World.
The Sixteenth And Seventeenth Centuries
In the year 1535, Cartier found cucumbers growing in Canada.
In early seventeenth-century Virginia, pickles were being made at home as well as sold commercially.
At the turn of the seventeenth century, Dutch farmers started growing cucumbers in a region in New York, today called Brooklyn.
The Eighteenth And Nineteenth Centuries
In this period, pickling grew rapidly. John Mason developed the Mason jar for processing pickles. A company called Heinz started to sell its 57 varieties of pickles. Prominent pickle-related organizations, such as Pickle Packers International and Vlasic Pickles, began to be born.
The first annual pickle day celebration occurred in the year 2001 in New York City.
India’s first online pickle store is launched. With a wide variety of pickles on offer, and delivery across India, it is India’s largest marketplace for buying pickles online. Come on now, give us a try! Head over to www.picklemasti.com and pick a pickle of your choice!
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