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September 2006 Issue
by Lara Velez
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The true history of the pickle is somewhat of a mystery. Although some believe it dates back to India 4030 years ago. The pickle has been mentioned in the Bible by Jesus and in the Old Testament books Numbers and Isaiah. Napoleon valued its health benefits for his army. George Washington had a collection of 476 different kinds of pickles. In 850 BC Aristotle praised the healing benefits of the pickle, and 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 all the fuss over a pickled cucumber you ask? Who knows…I do know that even today the popular pickle is everywhere. The crunchy tangy pickle is eaten out of jars, on our burgers, and served with our sandwiches. It is sliced, speared, whole, diced for relish, spicy, sour, and sweet. We just love the amazing, multi-talented pickle!

The health benefits of the pickle are incredible:

  • Raw, lacto-fermented vegetables (pickles) have good bacteria that inhibit the growth of harmful microbes in the intestines.

  • They have a higher concentration of vitamin C.

  • They help you absorb iron better.

  • Research shows that vinegar can help with weight loss.


  • Americans consume 26-billion pickles a year. That’s about nine pounds of pickles per person.

  • More than half the cucumbers grown in the U.S. are made into pickles.

  • Amerigo Vespucci, for whom America is named, was a pickle merchant before becoming an explorer.

  • Pickling has been used to preserve food for almost 5,000 years.

  • The pickle is both a fruit and a vegetable
No matter how you feel about pickles…they aren’t going anywhere. So, grab a dill, sit down, and get crunching.


Dill Pickles

  • 4 dozen fresh, crisp, pickling cucumbers – DO NOT use the commercial, waxed kind!
  • Fresh dill, to taste (approx. 1- bundle)
  • 1 qt. Apple cider vinegar
  • 8 c. water
  • 1 c. salt
  • 10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, peeled, and crushed
  • Several Jars
Wash cukes and cover with cold water. Refrigerate overnight. Pack cukes into jars, tightly. Stuff equal amounts of dill into each jar. Meanwhile, bring remaining ingredients to a boil. Boil for 2 min. Evenly divide whole garlic cloves into jars. Pour hot brine into the jars. Seal. Makes 12 pints. After processing and cooling, jars should be stored 4 to 5 weeks to develop ideal flavor.

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