10 Things You Don't Know About Pickles

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10 Things You Don't Know About Pickles
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10 Things You Don't Know About Pickles

Do you ever wonder who came up with the brilliant idea to preserve vegetables through pickling? Or why pregnant women crave them so often?

If so, we've got some answers for you.

When Did Pickles Originate?

Pickles have a long history -- one that takes us back to 2400 BC. It is believed that the Mesopotamians were picklers and that we have been pickling ever since. Pickles have been popular in England since the Middle Ages.

What Role did Pickles Play in our History?

Some of the greatest people in history spoke highly of the crunchy snack. Aristotle thought that "cured cucumbers" had great healing properties while Julius Casear fed pickles to his men as he believed that they offered physical and spiritual strength. Cleopatra, known for her good looks, believed her beauty came from eating ample amounts of pickles.

Who brought pickling to "the New World"?

It was none other than Christopher Columbus! The explorer grew cucumbers in order to pickle them. In the 1500s, the area which is now New York City played host to the largest group of Dutch commercial picklers.

How Many Pickles Do We Eat?

Each year, Americans as a whole eat more than 2.5 million pounds of pickles, and, according to a 2009 Mental Floss article, the average American eats 8.5 pounds of pickles a year and dill pickles are twice as popular as sweet pickles.

How Long Does it Take To Make Pickles?

Pickles can develop at different rates depending upon the process used to create them. In the case of ever popular dill pickles, if they are made through a process of refrigeration (refrigerator pickles), they can be ready in just five days whereas fresh-packed pickles can take five weeks and fermented pickles, up to six weeks.

How Bad Are Pickles For You?

One large pickle is only about 16 calories. That is nothing! But in terms of sodium, one large pickle is around 1181 mg or 49 percent of your daily value.

Why Do Pregnant Women Crave Pickles?

According to ThePregnancyQuestions.com, craving pickles can point to low sodium levels in your blood, and some believe cravings for items like pickles happen when women are in need of certain nutrients.

Why are Pickles Fermented Outdoors?

Most pickle plants in the U.S. let their pickles ferment outdoors in open containers. While this may be a bit frightening, as our pickles are left open to the elements, the sunlight actually keeps away yeast and mold.

How Long do Pickles Stay Good?

According to EatByDate.com, pickles can stay good for one to two years past the date on the jar.

Image Credit: Jupiter Images

How to Make Quick Pickles

Here’s a way to make better-than-store-bought pickles in under an hour. The secret is pouring the hot vinegar mixture over slices of cold, crisp cucumber. These pickles have the perfect balance of sour and sweet—though closer to a “bread and butter” taste, they still satisfy the vinegar-loving pickle crowd. In our humble opinion, there’s no reason to ever buy another jar of pickles.

Get the Recipe: Quick Pickles

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Pickles are really something special. Not only do they last and last but they have been celebrated throughout history as they were thought to bring beauty, health and strength.

But when did we start making these crunchy cucumber snacks and why do some many pregnant women claim to crave them?

To learn the answers to these questions and more, Check out the slideshow above.

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