Pickles are well known for its enduring rich taste of sour and spiciness. Pickle has a very long history of its existence in both the domestic and commercial kitchens. Pickling is a process of soaking or preserving a specific food in salt or vinegar for later consumption as a relish. The word “Pickle” is derived from Dutch word “Pekel” or Northern German ‘pókel’ meaning “salt” or “brine,” which are important in pickling process. In some countries like U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the word pickle is refers to a pickled Cucumber.
Though the origin of pickle is unknown, however, it is said that it dates back as far as 2030 BC when cucumbers from their native region India were pickled in the Tigris Valley or is said to be have begun in the time of ‘Mohenjo Daro’ (the northwest region of the Indian). Some books refer pickles (basically made of Cucumbers) to be first prepared for the workers who were building the Great Wall of China. Different countries have their own taste and variety of pickles prepared out of vegetables as well as fruits. Pickles are typically of sour and tangy taste; however, some pickles are sweet & sour too, depending upon the condiments they use in pickling process.
In India, pickles (known as Achar) are available handy in almost every household and a basic condiment of their food. Indian pickles are prepared in variety of colors, taste and from different vegetables or fruits. Most popular pickles are made out of mango, lemon or lime, tamarind, goongura (a sour leafy shrub), tamarind, chilli and Indian gooseberry (amla). Indian pickles are very popular and have their famous branded pickles supplies throughout the world. In countries like United States of America and Canada, pickled cucumbers (also known as “pickles”), olives, and sauerkraut are commonly available. And, in the UK pickles are referred as “dill cucumbers “or, pickled cucumbers (if they’re not dill).
Some studies suggest the healthy benefits of consuming different varieties of pickles in a proportionate quantity. It is an excellent source of Anti-Oxidants, rich in nutrients and low in calories. Pickles are an excellent prebiotic food source to the good bacteria that live in our stomach and also, improve liver health. It has a quality of improving the digestive health system of our body and helps in preventing constipation complaints. They are low in calories and carbohydrates, thus helps in weight loss.
With the evolution of online market places over the internet, there is a wide availability of numerous products and made easy to get all varieties of vegetables & fruits pickles from different corners of the world. We may consider the Pickles as a sign of historic and a contemporary taste of our rich cultures and traditions.