Origin and History of Pickling
Pickle is a term derived from the dutch word “pekel” meaning “something piquant” which refers to the pickling brine with a sharp taste or appetizing flavor. Looking back at the footprints of history, the custom of pickling was present from the dawn of civilization. Even before refrigeration and canning were introduced, pickling was the only possible means to preserve food for a long time. This served as a solution to food scarcity or seasonal production of food.
There are good number pickles brands in India that exist since decades, like Sitara Foods, non-commercial homemade pickle brand, which started in 1984 and now has become one of the largest stores to buy pickles online.
Pickles As a Savior for Indians:
Indian food style is incomplete without a pickle as they spice up everyday meals from whichever part of the country you hail from. Like how, if you don’t know to swim, you need a life-jacket; if you don’t know to cook, you need a pickle. Undoubtedly, pickles act as a savior for most of the Indians.
Pickle is a warrior who never fails to help you when you are in a distressed state. It can be used:
As a yummy partner with plain rice when your mom is out of station or if you are a bachelor feeling home alone or left without a cook on any day.
As a premium to make any sober combination of food like rice and dhal seem more palatable when you are back from office crossing all heavy traffic or back from a tired long trip or journey.
As a luscious sidekick capable of seasoning long journeys by train or car or bus.
As a loving companion with rotis, chapathis, phulkas, naan, bread, sandwiches or other foods like French fries, fritters, rolls, wraps or other savories.
As a pacifier with curd rice to help smooth digestion.
As a supplement with side dishes cooked at home to surprise your kids or other adults in your family and make the meal more satisfying.
The hunger control hormone Leptin works better with a pickled meal!
There are a wide variety of pickles that you can find in today’s market like Pudhina / Mint leaves Pickle, Cilantro pickle, Red Chilli Pickle. But the old age traditional pickles like Mango Pickle or Avakai Pickle, Ginger Pickle, Tomato Pickle/achar have always their place on your kitchen shelves and in our travel bags.
Pickles are not only life savers but also have affluent aids in it; most of which are not perceived. The highlights of including pickle in everyday meals are:
Fermented pickles boost your gut flora with probiotic content or friendly bacteria that are present in your digestive system. Antibiotics tend to kill such bacteria and fermented pickles without any additives or preservatives help in restoring good bacteria which ultimately leads to better gut health.
Pickle fight viruses, helps you to recover from other gut imbalances like candida, rebuilds your electrolytes during post-work-out, acts as a hangover cure (replacing depleted sodium levels) and it also restores microbes and digestive enzymes that help you absorb nutrients in the food.
The pickled vegetable has antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin A, and C which protects our body from free radicals which react with your cells and damage your DNA.
Some fresh pickles made out of leafy vegetables like mint, coriander or herbs like gongura are all interesting to kids and make them consume their share of essential vitamins and minerals which is otherwise boring for them.
Eases nausea and morning sickness in pregnant women. The tangy taste in pickles tingle the taste buds and it restores and refreshes their appétit. In India, if a married woman craves for pickles she is considered to be pregnant.