Pickling is a method used to preserve food stuffs. The food items are placed in various liquids such as oil or vinegar to help preservation. Since ancient times, people have devised different ways to preserve and pickle foods so that during famines or long winters food is not a problem. The earliest example of preserving food dates back to the period when the construction of the Great Wall of China was going on. The workers thrived on sauerkraut which is a type of fermented cabbage. Pickling of food not only preserves food but also changes the flavor and the taste of the food that is being pickled.
The pickle making process began since the year 2030 BC. The pickles were prepared from cucumbers whose seeds were brought by the people from Northern India to the Tigris valley. From then various experiments were tried to preserve cucumbers. And the most recent one that using brine was also invented and became very famous. Earlier America was known for pickles. It is also believed that sour pickles help in balancing the acid and alkaline content of the human body which destroys the bacteria in the digestive tract. Pickles played a very important role in folk medicine.
Pickles are a type of food that is eaten all around the world and is very famous. Pickling is an easy process and is also known as corning or brining. In different parts of the world the same pickle is prepared in different ways. In America and United Kingdom pickle is made using cucumbers in vinegar solution. On the other hand in India and other South Asian countries pickle is made using fruits such as raw mango, lime etc. in oil and salt mixture.
Pickling cucumber is also a common practice in America. The other ingredients are vinegar and spices such as cloves, garlic, mustard or ginger. The brine solution helps preserve food using the anaerobic fermentation which results in pickle. A sour taste in developed as a result. Fermentation causes longer life of the pickle.
In India pickles are made as a side dish. Many fruits and vegetables such as limes, raw mango, pumpkins, rose petals, cauliflower, radish, onion etc. Some pickles are also made using fish as the major ingredient. In India, it is known as “achar”. Oil is used for preserving the food and a variety of spices such as cloves, cumin seeds, turmeric, asafetida, salt etc.
The different types of pickles that are eaten all around the world are as follows;
Gherkin is a pickle made of cucumber and vinegar. A kosher dill pickle is made under the supervision of a rabbi which ensures that the non kosher food and utensils do not come in contact with the kosher ones. A substantial amount of garlic is used in making these pickles. Polish and Swedish style pickles are made from cucumbers and are famous in Europe. Indian pickles consist mainly of pickles made of lime and raw mango. Other fruits and vegetables are also used. Bread and butter pickles are the sweet pickles and are served with sandwiches or burgers. Pickles are thus a world famous recipe and are liked by all.