Pickling: Now and Then
These days, pickling is something we do for fun. We try out different vegetables and see how they taste or we simply grab some pickles at the local grocery store. There was a time, however, when pickling was much more than that - it was a survival technique. In wintertime when food wasn’t growing, people depended on those preserves to keep them fed.
Pickling is believed to have originated 4,000 years ago in India. Cucumbers were preserved so that they could be eaten out-of-season (or on long journeys, such as out to sea). We are not sure exactly what was used to pickle foods back in those days but it has been hypothesized that wine or beer might have been likely.
While storing food may have been the original incentive for pickling, another one was quickly discovered: it was delicious. Since then, pickling has steadily increased in popularity (getting an especially large boost in the 16th century when new foods were introduced to Europe), and pickles were a noted to be a favourite of Queen Elizabeth.
Pickling food also has many health benefits, such as aiding digestion and sporting good quantities of vitamin B. The vitamin C stored in pickles also helped prevent scurvy on the Nina, Pinta and Santa-Maria!
People still do pickle foods quite commonly, even if it isn’t quite as necessary as it once was. Pickles themselves remain quite the tasty treat and they are commonly enjoyed with a nice burger. So why not try one of our burger recipes and - while you’re at it - add a pickle to that plate?