Pickle Day

On November 14, we celebrate the pickle. I couldn’t let this day go unremarked, as I am a huge dill pickle fan. However, not all pickles are dill. There are also Gherkin, Lime, Bread-and-Butter, Branston, Cornishon, Hungarian, Polish, Danish or Swedish. When I was younger, my mother made bread and butter pickles, but they are really too sweet for me.

The term pickle comes from the Dutch word pekel, meaning brine. Pickles have been around a long time. In 2030 BCE, cucumbers were imported from India to the Tigris Valley. There, they were first preserved and eaten as pickles. Pickles have often been thought to have special properties. According to legend, Cleopatra attributed her beauty to her regular eating of pickles. Julius Caesar and Napoleon fed them to their troops in the belief that they provided strength. And, of course, they are legendary as a food often craved by pregnant women, along with ice cream. But by far the most interesting tidbit I found about pickles is that Amerigo Vespucci, who gave his name to America was called a “pickle-dealer,” because he provided provisions to ship’s crews, including pickles.

Pickle Day was first celebrated in 1949. You can read the article about this first celebration on the Time/Life website, including a picture of Mr. Pickle happily floating on a rubber raft in a huge vat of pickles – according to the caption, 204,681 of them!

Pickles are easy to make. You don’t need special equipment or a canner. All you need is a container big enough to keep them covered, and a few ingredients, like vinegar, spices, salt, and garlic. You can find the recipe here. By using this cold pack technique, you get crunchy pickles, not the soggy ones you get if you cook them. But canned or purchased, enjoy a pickle today!

Quotes about pickles

I love dill pickles! They’re on my rider for my concerts so I eat one every day.–Jordin Sparks

What I love is a peanut butter and pickle sandwich. I’ll just have peanut butter and bananas, then peanut butter and pickles. Peanut butter and chocolate I don’t recommend.–Dianne Wiest

I don’t know why I love cherries and I love pickles. I eat about two or three Claussen pickles a day. Those are just things I snack on.–Monica Denise Brown

Life – a spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.–Ambrose Bierce

On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally’s cellar.–Thomas Jefferson

So in our pride we ordered for breakfast an omelet, toast and coffee and what has just arrived is a tomato salad with onions, a dish of pickles, a big slice of watermelon and two bottles of cream soda.–John Steinbeck

He looks as though he’s been weaned on a pickle.–Alice Roosevelt Longworth

I sleep so much better at night, knowing that America is protected from thin pickles and fast ketchup.–Orrin Hatch

I think pickles are cucumbers that sold out. They sold their soul to the devil, and the devil is dill.–Mitch Hedberg

A man who is not touched by the earthy lyricism of hot pastrami, the pungent fantasy of corned beef, pickles, frankfurters, the great lusty impertinence of good mustard is a man of stone and without heart.–Herb Gardner

Turns out, theres not a lot of information about pickles on the Internet.–Brian Posehn (This is not true, by the way!)

As an adolescent, I went to charm school, where I learned to pour tea and relate to boys, which, as I recall, meant giving them the pickle jar to unscrew, whether it was too hard for me or not.–Sue Monk Kidd

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