Oh, good God. Pickles? I’m down to questions on pickles? Ah, well, let’s get on with it, then. No point in moaning, I guess. Pickles! Is there any greater word? Probably. ‘Gherkin’ is what we call them in the UK. These funny little things are pickled cucumbers, so the UK really shouldn’t be calling them gherkins, but we’ve always been a funny old bunch. To most of the world, ‘gherkin’ is a type of pickle, along with brined, bread and butter, cornichon, dill, kosher dill, full-sour kosher dill, kovászos uborka, lime pickle, ogórek konserwowy and Swedish pickle. And probably quite a few more. The point is, readers, they are all utterly, utterly disgusting. I mean, beyond rancid. Dare I say it? Dare I? They are worse than broccoli. No, wait, that was too hasty. I take that back. Can I take it back? No? Ah, nuts. I mean… ah, nuts…
Pickles are side dishes, usually, but are also eaten as condiments and in soup, and are, apparently, a popular festival food. Don’t know which festivals, mind. The word ‘pickle’ comes from the Dutch word for ‘brine’, and refers to the humble pickled cucumber in every country on Earth. Except in the UK, where, as I mentioned earlier, we say ‘gherkin’. ‘Pickle’ here refers to a ploughman’s pickle, but I don’t want to go too in depth into the world of pickles. Because I don’t want to lose the will to live.
But are there any other interesting pickle facts? Oh boy, yes, you bet! Oh God, kill me now…
Pickling food is one of the oldest forms of food preservation on Earth, discovered at the dawn of civilisation thousands of years ago. In those ancient times, people thought that pickles were essential to good health and that they helped to maintain the right balance of acid in the body. But is this true? I don’t care. I’m not talking up pickles, for God’s sake.
Despite my dislike for them, this food has its fans. So many, in fact, that every November 14 is ‘officially’ National Pickle Day. Famous pickle lovers include Elvis Presley, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Cleopatra loved them so much that she claimed they made her beautiful. Did I mention she was also a touch mad?
Americans consume an average of eight pounds of pickles per person every year. That’s over 20 billion pickles! Dill pickles are by far the most popular in that country, a country whose Supreme Court ruled that pickles are a ‘fruit of the vine’, not a vegetable. They also did the same thing with tomatoes. Do be wary of this fact if it comes up in a pub quiz. ‘Oh, great, I only need to get one more question correct and I’ll win the quiz!’ “Are pickles a fruit or a vegetable?” “ARRRRGH! DAMN YOU AMERICAN SUPREME COURT!”
Pickles are also a huge part of life in Fiji. In fact, in Fiji, a man will only gain the approval of his partner’s parents if he shows them his pickle pits. I could explain that, but it’s funnier if I don’t…
So, what are my thoughts on pickles?
Well, they exist. What more can you say?
But do you like pickles, readers?
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