the daily doyle


What’s So Good About Pickles?
September 5, 2011, 3:16 am
Filed under: General stuff

Does anybody really eat pickled eggs? And how about pickled pigs feet? Really?

And what’s the point even of pickles in general? Sour vegetables just doesn’t sound good. Yet somehow it’s become part of our culture to enjoy them.

I just learned today that pickles are hugely popular in Russia, because, I’m told, pickles taste good with vodka. Supposedly it’s like peanuts and beer. Well, I guess I’d have to try it.

I think it’s the salt we crave. Pickles are generally low in calories and nearly fat-free but are LOADED with sodium. The doctors (trained by universities funded by drug companies) all tell us to cut back on sodium. I don’t buy that at all, especially for people who live in a climate like Florida and who are active and sweat. Our bodies need salt and all kinds of health problems are caused by lack of salt. And, of course, it tastes good.

It seems that somebody somewhere has pickled just about everything. The standard is cucumbers but any store will also have olives and various other combinations of vegetables. And of course the pickled eggs and pigs feet. I confess though, as a kid, I did eat (and enjoy) pickled pigs feet. Sounds pretty creepy now and I don’t think I’d really want to try again. I saw pickled mangoes in my friend John’s Greek fruit and vegetable market near our house.

What I do love though is pickled beets. I like beets any way you make them. There is an expression in Kentucky, where I grew up, – “wilder than a pickled beet”. It’s a cute expression and honestly I have no idea what’s so wild about a pickled beet. They are red but that’s about it.

Once you have pickles, you can (as Emeril would say) kick ’em up a notch by deep frying them. Yes, you got it, deep fried pickles. I’ve had them, but really, given a choice, I’d rather have something else fried up, like maybe potatoes or even mushrooms.

So have a pickle but try not to find yourself “in a pickle”. That’s bad. I have always been a little confused about this idiom. A quick Internet search taught me that originally “pickles” was a spicy sauce for meat, then later a briny, spiced vinegar solution used as preservative. Still later, the vegetables that were preserved also took the name pickles. The idea then of “in a pickle” conveys the fate of a vegetable that finds itself immersed in this solution. Obviously, there is no easy way out once they close the lid on the jar. I don’t know about you, but I have had that feeling a couple of times. Somehow though, I always managed to get out of it. Good thing I’m not a vegetable, or a pig’s foot.

My readers may have noticed that all my blog articles contain quotes. It was a challenge to find a humorous or even interesting quote about pickles. The best I could do was this anonymous thought about the deeper meaning of pickles, “I think pickles are cucumbers that sold out. They sold their soul to the devil, and the devil is dill…”

All this talk about pickles is making me hungry. I might have a pickle, except that a Russian ate all the pickles in our house. I’m going to have some ice cream.

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1 Comment so far
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I hate pickles. But I had fun reading this :).

Comment by kaley aka kaykay




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