Thomas Jefferson wrote, “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." So what is so special about a pickle? It is a very common side dish in many recipes around the world. But a fact that very few people in the world know is that pickles have been used since time immemorial and many historic figures, including Cleopatra, George Washington and Julius Caesar, liked pickles. As pickling is a process of preserving food, many people used this as a means to hold on to basic nourishments, in their bad times like war, famine and rough weather. Cleopatra who was a devoted pickle fan, in fact believed that they enhanced her beauty.
With the possibility of preparing them come in a variety of flavor that include sweet, sour, spicy and garlicky, pickles add texture and spice to a host of many dishes. Today, more than fifty different types of pickles are available on grocer's shelves and plus, the numbers of assortments of pickled products are still growing.
Pickles begin life as cucumber seeds. With a pound of seed, a little water, fertilizer, sunlight, and an acre of soil, one can harvest several hundred bushels of cucumbers. The seeds are a special pedigreed strain developed to produce straight, thin skinned, pickling cucumbers. Pickling uses the preservative qualities of salt (see above) combined with the preservative qualities of acid, such as acetic acid (vinegar). Pickles are made with great care as they are supposed to last a year at least. Best ingredients are chosen, cleaned. Pickling was widely used to preserve meats, fruits and vegetables in the past, but today is used almost exclusively to produce "pickles," or pickled food products.
Pickles and chutneys in India range from spicy to sweet and soft to crispy. They're the perfect condiment for a well made meal and a '' for a not so perfect one! Though their history can be found in any race or culture of the world, at present they are outstandingly popular in South Asia, especially India. Indian pickles are from varieties of vegetables and fruits that can be chopped into small pieces, cooked in edible oil and adding plenty of salt. The most common forms of pickles in India are made from mango, lime, potato and garlic. Though the same ingredients may be used in preparation, Indian pickles come in a wide variety of flavor that arise out of the difference in spices used and the divergent processes utilized in preparing those pickles. For example, a mango pickle from South India may taste very different from one made in North India, as Sesame oil is preferred in southern states whereas mustard oil is preferred in northern ones.
Like mentioned before, pickles have a number of health benefits too. For example, Salt-pickled vegetables and other fermented foods nourish the digestive and immune system by providing plenty of friendly bacteria and also valuable enzymes. Although pickled products have been traditionally popular in the Indian subcontinent, there has been a increased awareness among many and rising curiosity among others in western countries as well. Consequently, many Indian firms specialize in exporting their pickled products to around their globe. For more information regarding pickles, visit www.pickleexporters.com
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