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National Pickle Day

National Pickle Day traces its roots to International Pickle Week, which was started by the National Pickle Packers Association in 1949. Pickles, which usually mean pickled cucumbers when spoke of in the United States, are preserved in a brine or vinegar solution, and flavored with herbs and seasonings. The word "pickle" is derived from the Dutch word pekel, which means brine. The pickling process was invented around 1440, and many people were making pickles in their homes by the 1600's. This was helped with the invention of the mason jar in 1858. Pickles are a low calorie food and high in vitamin K, but they may also be high in sodium. Each year Americans eat about 9 pounds of pickles.

How to Observe National Pickle Day

The day should be celebrated by eating pickles! Pickles can be eaten on their own or with a meal. They can be put on a hamburger, or chopped into a relish and put on a hot dog. Sometimes they are served on a stick, and sometimes they are even deep fried. There are many types of pickles to try:

  • Bread and butter—part of sweet family of pickles; has onions and bell peppers; sometimes have a waffle-esque shape; solution of vinegar, sugar, and spices; name comes from Omar and Cora Fanning, Illinois cucumber farmers who started selling the pickles in the early 1920's and filed for the name in 1923; name derived from how they traded their pickles for things like bread and butter during rough years.
  • Cinnamon—bright red and flavored with cinnamon; sometimes a Christmas treat.
  • Dill—made with dill herbs or dill oil; have been served in New York City since at least 1899.
  • Gherkins—smaller and usually more sweet; made with Burr or West Indian cucumbers; sometimes "gherkin" is a generic term used for pickles in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Kool-aid—soaked in kool-aid and pickle brine.
  • Kosher dill—dill pickle with lots of garlic in the salt brine.
  • Polish—somewhere between kosher dill and sour.
  • Sour—fermented longer in brine, which makes them more sour.
  • Sour mixed—sour pickles cut and mixed with other veggie such as onions, cauliflower, carrots, and peppers.
  • Sour relish—made with finely chopped sour pickles with other vegetables; also called "piccalili."
  • Sweet—usually made with vinegar, spices, and sugar; includes sliced sweet pickles, or "cross cuts", which are cut crosswise into chips.
  • Sweet mixed—sweet pickles mixed with other vegetables.

If you get filled up from eating too many pickles, you could make some so you have some to eat on another day.

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