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Pickles can be made with cauliflower, radishes, onions, green beans, asparagus and a seemingly endless variety of other vegetables and fruits.When the English arrived in the New World, they brought their method for creating sweet pickles with vinegar, sugar and spiced syrup.It is rumored that they were one of Cleopatra’s prized beauty secrets.They make apperances in the Bible and in Shakespeare’s writing.Pregnant women have been known to crave them along with ice cream.Pickles have been around for thousands of years, dating as far back as 2030 BC when cucumbers from their native India were pickled in the Tigris Valley.A few years later, John Mason developed and patented the first Mason jar.
Pickles are created by immersing fresh fruits or vegetables in an acidic liquid or saltwater brine until they are no longer considered raw or vulnerable to spoilage.
They were left to ferment for a few weeks to several months; shorter fermenting time produced brighter green “half sours,” while longer fermentation resulted in “full sours.” Pickles were sold on pushcarts in the immigrant tenement district of New York City.
Over time, Jewish-owned shops selling pickles straight out of the barrel began appearing in droves.
Cucumber pickles can also be made with a salt and vinegar brine, a popular choice for home cooks.
The brine, known as “pickle juice,” is sometimes used by athletes to treat dehydration, though it has yet to be proven as a true remedy. In , Claudia Roden explains that pickled vegetables were a dietary staple for Jews living in the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Russia.