Pickle in different Countries

Pickle in different Countries

Posted in 2018-12-03 15:35:00

The History of Pickling

  • Archeologists and anthropologists believe that the ancient Mesopotamians pickled.
  • Cucumbers originated in India over 4000 years ago and slowly made their way to the Middle East, Europe, and eventually North America.
  • Cucumbers were brought to the New World on one of Christopher Columbus’ voyages westward in his quest for the elusive spices of the East Indies.
  • It is recorded that Napoleon was such a huge fan of pickles for his armies due to their health benefits that he offered a hefty prize to whomever could develop a way to safely preserve them. This eventually led to the process and discovery of pasteurization.

Long before the days of refrigeration, pickling was the go-to form of food preservation. Mesopotamians were pickling cucumbers as far back as 2030 BC.

Whether vegetables and fruits are packed in salt or left to linger in vinegar, pickling allows people to savor the bounty of the growing season well into the winter. And while pickling techniques have evolved well beyond simple, basic brines, the basic principles remain the same.

From Italian Gardiniera to Indian mango pickle, we’ve rounded up Some of the most popular pickled foods across the globe, and provided recipes so you can bring a world of pickles into your own kitchen.

Giardiniera (Italy)

Giardiniera, which translates to “female gardener” or “from the garden,” is an Italian condiment made of peppers, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, and onions. The vegetables are pickled with either red or white vinegar, and they’re seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices like garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. During the 1920s, Italian immigrants introduced giardiniera to Chicago, and the city has since adopted the refreshing relish as its own. How to eat it: If you’re going the Italian way, eat giardiniera as an antipasto or accompaniment to salads. If you’re going for a Chicago-style giardiniera experience, use it as a relish on a hot dog or Italian beef sandwich.

Mango Pickle (India)

Although pickled mangoes can be found across much of Southeast Asia, they are perhaps best known as an Indian condiment. Whereas Western pickling methods primarily use vinegar, Indian achar (pickle) is made with oil. After being skinned and cleaned, chopped green mangoes are left to dry completely in the summer sun before being canned with salt, oil, and a variety of spices ranging from fennel to fenugreek. The flavor of pickled mango can vary greatly depending on the region in which it’s made. In the South, sesame oil is used for pickling, while in the North, mustard oil is preferred. How to eat it: The spicy, tangy condiment is used to brighten and flavor dishes. You can pair it with nearly anything—rice, and even lamb chops are all fair game.

L’hamd Markad (Morocco)


L’hamd markad, or preserved lemons, is Morocco’s answer to the pickle. Initially, Moroccans pickled lemons as a way to preserve the sour fruit once the growing season passed, but this pickle has since become an integral part of the cuisine. The most basic recipe combines chopped lemons, lemon juice, water, and salt, but there are also variations that use spices in the brine to infuse the fruit with extra flavor. While lemons are inherently tart on their own, the pickling process mellows the acidity. Typically, the lemon rind is the only part that’s used as a condiment, while the pulp is used to flavor soups. How to eat it: Use preserved lemons in tagines, or even as a relish for salmon or roasted lamb shoulder.

Kyuri Zuke (Japan)

Although gari, also known as pickled ginger, may be Japan’s most widely known pickle stateside, the country boasts an incredible variety of pickled products. Kyuri asazuke, a lightly salted and pickled Japanese cucumber, is one of the most popular.. How to eat it: Kyuri asazuke can be used as a garnish, served alongside rice, enjoyed as a cool and crisp salad, or eaten solo.

Kimchi (South Korea)

Kimchi has been an integral part of South Korea’s food history for centuries, so much so that it’s the country’s national dish. The first record of kimchi was from the poet Lee Kyu-bo during the Goryeo Dynasty, who referred to pickled radish kimchi in a poem. Kimchi as we know it today was developed in the 1700’s when chiles were introduced to Korea, giving the fermented cabbage its spicy kick. Although there are endless variations, the standard kimchi recipe includes napa cabbage, garlic, and chile peppers. Today, South Koreans consume 40 pounds of kimchi per person every year. How to eat it: There are countless ways to eat South Korea’s favorite fermented food. Try adding kimchi to stew,  or using it to flavor fried rice.


Pickled Herring (Sweden)

Thanks to exceptionally long winters and short growing seasons, Swedes have been pickling since the Middle Ages. The most basic version of pickled herring combines salt, vinegar, and spices, but there’s also a variety of flavoring add-ins, including mustard and dill. No Swedish smorgasbord would be complete without it. .

Sauerkraut (Germany)

      Despite being known as a traditionally German dish, sauerkraut was actually invented by the Chinese, who pickled cabbage in rice vineger. Europeans were first introduced to kraut in the 13th century by the Mongolians. Sauerkraut is made through a pickling process called lacto-fermentation, which gives the cabbage its distinct sour flavor. The most basic recipes combine thinly sliced cabbage, water, and salt, but in Germany, sauerkraut gets a boost of flavor from the addition of juniper berries. How to eat it: Sauerkraut is usually eaten with meat or potatoes in Germany. The pickled cabbage is perfect with pork chops, duck and so on.


Cornichon (France)

Cornichon, also known as gherkins, are the petite French pickles often found on charcuterie plates. Pickled in vinegar and a mix of spices, including tarragon, cloves, baby onions, garlic, and dill, these pickles are wonderfully tart and crunchy. How to eat it: No charcuterie or cheese plate would be complete without cornichons. These little pickles also make an appearance in sauce gribiche, an emulsified French sauce containing egg yolks, mustard, capers, and a variety of herbs.

Dill Pickles (USA)

Countries all over the globe—from India to Eastern Europe—have their own version of pickled cucumbers. However, at the turn of the 20th century, Americans claimed the sour pickle (pickled in a mixture of vinegar and dill seeds) as their own. Heinz introduced the pickle pin at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. The Department of Agriculture estimates that the average American eats a whopping 8.5 pounds of pickles every year. How to eat it: Really, what can’t you eat dill pickles with? Serve them with hamburgers, chop them up for hot dog relish. The possibilities are endless.

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