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April 22, 2024 36 mins

Pickled cucumbers were Cleopatra's favorite beauty food and the main business of the guy who named the Americas. In this classic episode, Anney and Lauren explore the long history and bacteria-laden science of pickles.

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Speaker 1 (00:09):
Hello, and welcome to Saber Prediction of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:11):
I'm Annie Reese, an unwarn vocal bomb, and today we
have a classic episode for you about pickles.

Speaker 1 (00:18):
Yes. Yes, And I joked with Lauren when when you
were like, let's do it, let's bring back the pickles
episode immediately cravings. Yeah, And as I talk about it
in here, I'm not like a huge pickle person. I've

had times in my life where I was okay, but
there's something about when you want a pickle craving, there's nothing.

Speaker 2 (00:47):
Nothing else I'll do.

Speaker 1 (00:48):

Speaker 2 (00:49):
You have to give into it. You just have to
go with it. That's it.

Speaker 1 (00:52):
Yes, Yes, And I looked up how to make pickles
just based on you mentioning this because we have a
good friend that we talked about in here who makes
makes his own pickles. And I was like, maybe I
can do that. And then I looked at the It
was the hot water bath that strust me out to
be honest, Oh.

Speaker 2 (01:11):
Yeah, I do. You've got some blanching trauma in your past,
so some things are holding me back.

Speaker 1 (01:19):
I might try it, though. I I'm open to the
idea of making Pickles's that's good. That's good.

Speaker 2 (01:29):
I'm glad that you're open. That's a good, good character trait.
I do want to reassure you, as I have done
in the past when you have brought up your blanching trauma,
that things like tongs and gloves do exist. They do exist.
You don't have to scald your hands.

Speaker 1 (01:48):
It's true. I I once said a friend, say, you
are like the worst person for ignoring the easiest fair
Was there any reason pickles are on your mind?

Speaker 2 (02:06):
We did that episode one thousand Island Dressing and we
were talking about pickles in it, and I was looking
for a classic and I was like, well, Pickles, let's
do it. And I listened and it was heck and delightful.
So here we are. The original episode aired in September
of twenty eighteen, so that was a minute ago. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (02:30):
Yeah, yeah, I have to say, pickles, I do associate
with summer.

Speaker 2 (02:37):
Sure, it is.

Speaker 1 (02:38):
Getting warm here in Atlanta, so a pickle would be.

Speaker 2 (02:43):
Refreshing, it would be oh, it would be yeah, I
need to I need to get to a good deli.

Speaker 1 (02:52):
Yeah. Oh no, the craving is really strong. It is okay, Well,
perhaps we should let pass Annie and Lauren take it away. Hello,

and welcome to food Stuff.

Speaker 2 (03:18):
I'm Anny Reech and I'm Lauren Vogelbaum, and today we're
talking about pickles.

Speaker 1 (03:24):
Yes, it has finally arrived the pickle episode. We mentioned
doing it in our cucumber episode, which you should totally
listen to.

Speaker 2 (03:31):
Yes for an exhaustive scientific and historical look into cucumbers.
As we are known for, we exhaust people for food stuff.

Speaker 1 (03:41):
We do. It's a great slogan. But yeah, we've been
working on this one for a while and pretty excited
to talk about it. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (03:52):
Yes, it's entirely great.

Speaker 1 (03:54):
It is. And one of the first questions I had
about pickles because I'm I like pickles, but you know,
I'm not as big a fan as a lot of
people are. Okay, I find but when I was a kid,
I loved pickle.

Speaker 2 (04:10):
Juice, not the pickles, just the pickle juice.

Speaker 1 (04:12):
I would drink it as if I was at a
bar doing shots. Got of a little sippy cup. And
my little brother was into pickle juice too, and he
was into it even more than I was.

Speaker 2 (04:24):
Oh wow.

Speaker 1 (04:25):
And my parents gave him a pickle ornament for Christmas
one year, which is totally a thing. And I did
not know that.

Speaker 2 (04:34):
Oh, okay, all right, it's a Midwestern thing and no
one is really sure how it started. But the Christmas
pickle or the vine lutskirt ke ooh, is a pickle
shaped ornament and it's the last ornament you place on
your Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, and you kind of
hide it somewhere back in the branches, and then on
Christmas Morning, the first kid who finds the Christmas pickle

gets a special present.

Speaker 1 (04:58):
Oh I would win at that. My older brother better
be glad I didn't know about this.

Speaker 2 (05:04):
And despite the fact that it's like a German word, uh,
And the people of the Midwest who participate in this
tradition are generally of German heritage, and they call it
the German Christmas pickle. Germans had no bloody idea that
this was a thing until like it came back from America,
like like in the past decade, like everyone, I mean,

And since then, sales of the Christmas pickle have really
picked up in Germany.

Speaker 1 (05:32):
I love it, like one of these weird Americans up
to and saying it was our ideas.

Speaker 2 (05:36):
But hey, but hey, Christmas pick my Christmas pickle. Fine,
let's wirk it.

Speaker 1 (05:41):
I love it and just a fun side note before
we get started. Last year at jig Con, the most
popular costume five are was Pickle Rick from Rick and Morty.

Speaker 2 (05:53):
Absolutely I saw a really good one. I saw some
you know, like okay, some like mid level you know,
like you tried gold Star kind of yeah, kind of
Pickle Ricks. But man, there was one that was like
on stilts and it was giant and yes, like and
it had like all the creepy like accoutrement, like buzzsaw
kind of attachments and all that.

Speaker 1 (06:12):
It was.

Speaker 2 (06:13):
It was a pickle to behold.

Speaker 1 (06:14):
It was a pickle to behold. I was fortunate enough
to march in the parade, the Giant Comprade this year,
and I was in the here is in Villain's section
and specifically in the Captain America section, and for some
reason there was a Pickle Rick. I don't know if
there was a pun there that I didn't get, but he.

Speaker 2 (06:32):
Like wasn't carrying a cap shield or anything like that.
It was just Pickle Rick.

Speaker 1 (06:36):
It was just Picklerick. And he didn't like run in
or like march in late. He lined up with us
in the hour before, like he was there the entire time.
This was his section. You know, he didn't seem to
have any friends in there.

Speaker 2 (06:49):
Pickle Rick moves in mysterious ways.

Speaker 1 (06:51):
I this is true, and we should probably move on
to our question pickles. What are they?

Speaker 2 (07:01):
Well, pickle is both a noun and a verb, and
you can pickle any number of foods. But today we
are concentrating on what probably comes to mind first for
most Americans when you say pickle, a pickled cucumber.

Speaker 1 (07:14):
And Bona Patite tells me that England pickle refers to
what we call in the States relish.

Speaker 2 (07:20):
Like like chopped pickled cucumber and probably other vegetables. Yeah, yeah, yes,
that's true.

Speaker 1 (07:27):
Is it true? Yeah, well this must be confusing for
our English listeners.

Speaker 2 (07:31):
Oh yeah, sorry about it.

Speaker 1 (07:32):
Well, you know, we can't control language. We're not that powerful.
We're powerful.

Speaker 2 (07:37):
We're working towards it.

Speaker 1 (07:39):
We are, slowly, but surely we are.

Speaker 2 (07:42):
So okay, all right? Pickled cucumber. A cucumber is an oblong,
greenish fruit that's crunchy and kind of cool and fresh tasting.
The vines that they grow on tend to go from
zero to like all of the ripe cucumbers all at
the same time, within like a single week, and so
therefore you've got to preserve some of them somehow, or

you've just got a lot of rotten cucumbers on your hands.

Speaker 1 (08:05):
Don't want that unless you're super producer Dylan, who hates cucumbers, but.

Speaker 2 (08:10):
He does like pickles. He does, so I think that
I think he would more approve of the I mean, actually,
I guess it could go either way. It depends on
how evil is feel in that day, either pickle them
or destroy. To pickle is to preserve a food in
an acidic solution, which a makes the food taste kind
of more sour and or puckery, and b makes it

last longer. And we've talked before on the show about
how when food goes bad, microorganisms have started to eat
it before you got a chance to. They'll eat the
food and excrete stuff that smells and tastes rotten. And
if they're infesting food that you do eat, they might
make you sick. Bad times all around. But one of
the things about microorganisms is that they are more sensitive

to acids than we are. Let's talk about the pH
scale for a second. This is a spectrum that scientists
created in the nineteen oughts when they were trying to
make beer tastier. Thanks Carlsberg.

Speaker 1 (09:08):
Yeah, thanks.

Speaker 2 (09:09):
It ranges from zero to fourteen. Anything above seven is
considered basic, not like it likes pumpkin spice lattes, like
it's the opposite of acidic, because anything under seven is
considered acidic. Seven is neutral. Whereas we humans find things
in the two to four point five range of the
scale to be pleasantly tart, most microbes find it intolerable,

like they cannot eat that stuff or survive in it.
Sort of the way that we'd find a planet filled
with hydrochloric acid to be inhospitable. Wouldn't want to live there,
wouldn't want to eat it.

Speaker 1 (09:44):
You wouldn't want to eat it.

Speaker 2 (09:45):
Not a planet made of hydrochloric acid.

Speaker 1 (09:47):
No, I may or may not be some evil superhero
that eats planet side on. Now. I don't really want
to talk about it right now.

Speaker 2 (09:54):
That's entirely fair. I can keep going. I appreciate it, Okay.
So if you make your food drop down into that
two to four point five range, microbes won't eat it
and the food.

Speaker 1 (10:08):
Will last longer. Huzzahazza.

Speaker 2 (10:11):
Adding a salt or sugar or both to this acidic
solution helps with the fluid transfer of water out from
the cucumber and acidic stuff into the cucumber.

Speaker 1 (10:21):
And the word pickle probably comes from either the Dutch
word peckle or the German word pokel, both of which
means salt or brine.

Speaker 2 (10:31):
Yes, because of this salt thing, and the spices typically
used in pickles often do have antimicrobial properties, which is
probably how humans wound up incorporating them into their recipes,
you know, like garlic, mustard, seed, cloves, stuff like that.

Speaker 1 (10:44):
M hm.

Speaker 2 (10:46):
And Okay, when you're talking about pickles, there are two
basic types. Also, the word pickles, y'all, is never going
to stop being funny. I just love it, okay anyway,
Just know that I'm giggling every single time I say it.

Speaker 1 (10:59):
Uh. Okay.

Speaker 2 (10:59):
So you've got quick pickles, which you brine in vinegar
plus salt and other stuff, and fermented pickles, which you
brine in brine just like plain salt water plus whatever
flavorings you want to add. And how that fermented brine
thing works is that instead of adding your own acid
like a vinegar, you're setting up a wee little bacteria

farm so that the bacteria will create the acid for you.

Speaker 1 (11:24):
Does this mean what I think it means? Oh?

Speaker 2 (11:26):
Yes, it means bacterial poop.

Speaker 1 (11:34):

Speaker 2 (11:37):
So, if you set out a loosely covered jar of
cucumbers in brine, the lactic acid bacteria that just live
kind of everywhere. We've talked about this in our cheese
and yogard episodes will set up shop in the jar.
The salt solution will draw out some of the sugars
from the cucumbers into the into the brine, the bacteria
will eat the sugars and poop lactic acid. Acid infuses

the cucumbers, more bacteria grow, repeat, and in a couple
of weeks you've got pickles. Hi And I said that
you want to cover the jars loosely. It's loosely because
the bacteria also poop carbon dioxide gas. I guess they
fart it. It's not really a poop thing, which could
make a jar explode if you know.

Speaker 1 (12:17):
Close it tightly.

Speaker 2 (12:18):
Don't want to do that.

Speaker 1 (12:19):
No. No.

Speaker 2 (12:21):
Vinegar, by the way, is generally a fruit or vegetable
juice that's been exposed to yeasts that eat their sugars
and poop alcohol. Thus making like wine or cider or beer,
and then that alcoholic stuff is exposed to acetobacter, which
are bacteria that eat alcohol and poop acetic acid. So
you're really just buying your bacteria poop ready made when

you pickle with vinegar.

Speaker 1 (12:45):
I'm going to think about it like that. From here on.

Speaker 2 (12:47):
It perfect. Yes, I've done my job, and I guess.
Just just a linguistic note. You can also see pickles
made with vinegar being referred to as fresh packed pickles
or refrigerator pickles in addition to quick pickles.

Speaker 1 (13:04):
I'd never paid much attention to to how things are labeled.
I look at what's in it, but I don't look
at the actual name.

Speaker 2 (13:12):
Yeah, I need to, Well, until you know what the
difference is, I guess it doesn't really remember.

Speaker 1 (13:17):
Like recently, I had to buy stuff where we were
making that pickle sandwich.

Speaker 2 (13:22):
Oh right, the pickle peanut butter mayo mayo, and then
the pickle peanut butter and vealveta.

Speaker 1 (13:28):
Yeah, And I was like texting you like, what is this?
I don't know what this means.

Speaker 2 (13:33):
There's so many pickles, what do I want?

Speaker 1 (13:36):
And I still messed it up.

Speaker 2 (13:39):
It's Okay, it was still incredibly bizarre.

Speaker 1 (13:42):
Yeah, it was all right. Yeah, I feel like most
of my reviews would be that, Yeah, I liked it.
It's okay, I.

Speaker 2 (13:50):
Got to eat peanut butter. That was nice.

Speaker 1 (13:51):
Yeah, well, yes, I mean obviously, so.

Speaker 2 (13:58):
There are lots of types of gold cucumbers, but here
are a few popular ones.

Speaker 1 (14:03):
There's gurkin, and we discussed this in our cucumber episode.
This is not technically a cucumber. It's highly technical, but
we do often call it a pickle. There's kosher dill.
The kosher here means that the pickle was made in
a traditional Jewish manner, not that it was made under
Rabbi supervision. There's polish and this is a type of
pickle originally from Northern Europe where no vinegar is used

in the brine. Instead, salt and natural fermentation are used.
And then there's bread and butter. This is the pickle
I accidentally brought for our sandwich experiment. These are a
bit sweeter thanks to the higher levels of sugar added
to the brine.

Speaker 2 (14:39):
Yeah, and any of these, I mean it really you
really just have to look at the labeling pickled to
pickle to see whether it was fermented. I mean, aside
from types like polish that are usually almost always I don't.

Speaker 1 (14:51):
Know, only a sith deals an absolute. We have a
colleague here, Ramsey. He makes it his own pickles.

Speaker 2 (15:00):
Oh, and they're so good. I st don't know how
he does it, but they are delicious.

Speaker 1 (15:05):
He's never gonna let us know.

Speaker 2 (15:07):
Oh it's very secretive, that wizard Ramsey.

Speaker 1 (15:09):
Secret. As far as nutrition goes, pretty good for you.

Speaker 2 (15:15):
Yeah, they're fine. They're sort of I mean maybe high
in salt.

Speaker 1 (15:18):
Maybe, yeah, mild, anti inflammatory, high vitamin C, as long
as you don't deep fry them, of course, as delicious
as that is.

Speaker 2 (15:27):
Oh yeah, deep fried pickle slices. Some folks drink pickled
brine after exercising to replenish their electrolytes, and I suppose
that's not much different from drinking gatorade, just saltier. And
maybe if your pickles were made by fermentation and the
jar wasn't pasteurized afterwards, the brine could have some live,

active lactic acid bacteria like living probiotics in it. The
weather eating those actually makes any kind of difference in
your gut.

Speaker 1 (15:56):
Is up for debate, So yay food debates.

Speaker 2 (15:59):
Yes, and most commercially processed pickles are totally pasteurized.

Speaker 1 (16:04):
So ah well, whatever the case. People like some pickles,
they do. We have some pickle numbers here. According to
the New York Food Museum, as of two thousand and three,
five million, two hundred thousand pounds of pickles we are
consumed annually in the United States. That's nine pounds per person.

Speaker 2 (16:26):
What nine pounds oh pickles a year?

Speaker 1 (16:30):
I find it very hard to believe.

Speaker 2 (16:32):
But I shouldn't really eat cucumbers, so I don't eat
that many pickled cucumbers to be sure, but I guess
I might eat nine pounds of kimchi in a year. Really,
I like a kimchi.

Speaker 1 (16:46):
Kimchi is amazing. But anyway, the oldest pickle was first
pickled in eighteen seventy six, yes, eighteen seventy six, and
has been passed down from generation degeneration.

Speaker 2 (17:01):
It's still like it's still kicking.

Speaker 1 (17:04):
Apparently no one's eating it if it lives in Florida.
That's what That's what NPR tells me. All Right, I
trust MPR.

Speaker 2 (17:15):
And we may well be living in the Age of
the pickle. There's currently a pickle flavored soft serve in
New York City, and also in New York restaurants devoted
entirely to pickles. Sonic has a pickle slushy. There's pickle
ice pops, pickle candy canes, pickle vodka, pickle soda, pickle beer.

Speaker 1 (17:34):
The pickleback, Oh, the pickleback.

Speaker 2 (17:36):
Of course.

Speaker 1 (17:37):
Of course, somebody a listener, please make a parody song
with age of Aquarius age of pickles. Request submitted, please, yes,
oh yes.

Speaker 2 (17:53):
Also, while I was looking up all of these weird
pickle products, I stumbled across what would have been the
perfect Annie recipe for childhood Annie, and that is a
homemade peanut butter and pickle ice cream.

Speaker 1 (18:07):
Ooh yeah, yeah. I would have lived off of that.
I would have just subsided.

Speaker 2 (18:18):
I'm surprised that you never made like pickle popsicles, like
pickle Brian popsicles when you were a kid. I don't know.
I went through a huge like make my own popsicles face.

Speaker 1 (18:26):
So yeah, you know, there's still time. There is still time.

Speaker 2 (18:34):
There is And speaking of time, it is time for
us to take a quick break for a word from
our sponsor. But when we get back, we'll talk about
the history of the pickle.

Speaker 1 (18:52):
And we're back. Thank you, sponsor, Yes, thank you. Okay.
So the history of the pickle pickled history. Victorians believe
cucumbers were first pickled in twoy four hundred BCE Mesopotamia. Wow. Yeah,
the ancient Greeks knew about pickles roundabouts eight hundred and
fifty BCE. Aristotle himself was pushing pickles as a curative,

and the soldiers of Julius Caesar ate it for their health,
all right. Yeah. Ancient Rome viewed pickles as similarly beneficial.
One of history's biggest pickle fans was Cleopatra. Cleopatra, Yes,
she credited them as the source of her beauty. Yeah,

and just to clarify by eating them, Oh, not by
rubbing them on your skin.

Speaker 2 (19:47):
Or like or like using the Brian as a toner
or something like that.

Speaker 1 (19:51):
Yeah. I bet that would burn. I bet that would burn.
But beauty hurts, you know, That's what people tell me.
People have said that to me before. By this time,
where clear Patrick's time, which was fifty CE ish, pickles
could be found throughout the mcgreb and levant regions. In
nine hundred CE, Dill, which is very important for our

modern day pickles first showed up in Western Europe. Once
we move into the Middle Ages, pickles popularity as a
condiment climes gaining two more famous historical fans, Queen Elizabeth
and William Shakespeare.

Speaker 2 (20:32):
The Bard.

Speaker 1 (20:33):
The Bard, the one and only. He referenced pickles and
several of his works, including Hamlet, Oh, Hamlet, how camest
thou in such a pickle? Shakespeare used that phrase more
than once too. It also appeared in the tempest I
have been in such a pickle since I saw you
last that I fear me will never out of my bones.

I shall not fear fly blowing. I love Shakespeare what
that meant. But well, people who study that, no, because
they think it means to be drunk. Oh like you're pickled, Yeah,
which I love. I kind of want to bring back.
Oh yeah, I think I've used that before. Were you

drunk when you said it? Maybe it's close to sauce exactly. Yes. However,
the Oxford English Dictionary concludes this isn't the first use
of the phrase in a pickle to mean a difficult situation,
if that's what it meant there at all. They credit
a fifteen sixty two poem by John Haywood here we go.

This one's interesting time is tickle Challs is fickle. I
think it's chance. But it looks like schalz Man is brickle, failties, pickle, Paldres, mikel, seasoning, glickl.
It looks like season.

Speaker 2 (21:56):
I think it's seasoning.

Speaker 1 (21:58):
Oh well, I I wasn't meant for these times.

Speaker 2 (22:01):
No me, neither very few of us wear it's true.

Speaker 1 (22:06):
And if that does seem a little unclear on top
of my botch pronunciation. The first modern mention of in
a pickle comes courtesy of the diary of Samuel Peppis
in sixteen sixty quote at home with the workmen all
the afternoon, our house being in a most sad pickle.

Speaker 2 (22:26):
Oh, I had no idea that the phrase was that old.

Speaker 1 (22:29):
I know, I love it. I assumed it was from
like the nineteen twenties. Yeah, it feels like a twenties
or maybe a fifties thing. Sure you're saying all kinds
of weird phrases back then. Yeah. Stepping back a bit
to fourteen ninety two, when Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue.
Since pickles didn't spoil, they were a popular food among travelers,
especially among those making the long voyage to America. They

were also recommended for preventing scurvy, so much so that
Columbus rationed them for a soldiers and replenished their stocks
by growing cucumbers in Haiti before tackling the next step
of their voyage and in fact, for my pickle fact
of the episode, okay, the guy behind America's name, Amerigo Vespucci,

was a pickle salesman and the supplier for a good
chunk of the ships. Allegedly, his nickname was the Pickle Dealer.
What mm hmmm, Oh, that's that's got to be a
T shirt, The Pickle Dealer. That also has to be
a villain in our series The Dunker, which I promise
will happen one day.

Speaker 2 (23:35):
Also, I don't think we've mentioned it on the podcast yet,
but we totally have merch now, and we have the
power to make an artist who's actually really good at
his job make our silly puns into shirt designs. It's
a lot of power, it's a little bit terrifying. It's
at tea public dot com slash food stuff.

Speaker 1 (23:52):
Yeah, and if you have any designs, oh yeah, let
us know, yes, please, we can make it happen. A
Virginia was producing commercial pickles by sixteen or six, and
Thomas Jefferson again. Thomas Jefferson later commented, on a hot
day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a

fine spice pickle brought up trout like from the sparkling
depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt
Sally's cellar. Brought up trout like there is there no food.
He didn't comment on.

Speaker 2 (24:29):
Apparently that's all he did.

Speaker 1 (24:31):
I mean, essentially, that's what we do too. I suppose well.
George Washington was a fan of them too.

Speaker 2 (24:37):

Speaker 1 (24:38):
Sources say he had loads of varieties of cucumber in
his garden for pickling. The Actually the number was so
big that I doubted it.

Speaker 2 (24:46):
But wow.

Speaker 1 (24:48):
In either case, I do believe he loved pickles. The
Dutch in the sixteenth century counted pickles as one of
their delicacies, and Dutch immigrants arriving to what would become
New York started growing cucumbers for the pickling as early
as sixteen fifty nine in what is now Brooklyn. People
would buy the cucumbers, pickle them in barrels, and sell

them on the streets. This was the largest concentration of
commercial pickles in the world at the time. New York
would remain important to the pickle scene in the nineteenth
and twentieth century, with new waves of immigrants, specifically Jewish
immigrants from Eastern Europe, bringing along with them kosher pickles.
At the time, these were made by putting cucumbers in
barrels with dill, garlic, kosher salt, water, and any other

spices desired. Then the cucumbers were left to ferment for
over a month, longer than your average pickle, resulting in
a more sour product. This extra sourness was appreciated in
contrast to Eastern europe sort of bland potato heavy diet.
At the time, bland was what I read a lot,
I'm not describing that way. You could get a half

sour or full sour, depending on fermentation time. To this day,
most Jewish delis come with a complimentary slice or two
or three or four of pickles.

Speaker 2 (26:08):
Yeah, the Ashkenazi Jewish pickles.

Speaker 1 (26:12):
It's great.

Speaker 2 (26:12):
Also to this day, those pickles are still sold under
the names a half sour for pickles that have only
been fermented for a couple of weeks, and full sour
for pickles that have been fermented for a month or
more to yeah, really get the punch in there.

Speaker 1 (26:26):
Speaking of punch.

Speaker 2 (26:27):
And technology, yeah, of course we have some more pickle history,
some pickle technology, mayhap.

Speaker 1 (26:36):
But first we have one more quick break for word
from our sponsor and we're back. Thank you sponsors, Yes,
thank you. And remember Nicholas a peer.

Speaker 2 (26:57):
Yes from our canning episode.

Speaker 1 (27:00):
Light Lauren Well. Thanks to his development of canning, he
boasted the first large scale commercial production of pickles around
eighteen oh nine CE large scale Hey get it a pair.

Speaker 2 (27:13):

Speaker 1 (27:14):
Innovations in jar technology helped pickles move along, James Young's
invention of paraffin wax for better jar ceiling. John Mason
patented the Mason jar in eighteen fifty eight. Twenty years
later the patent expired, but the jar remained. And another
throwback the.

Speaker 2 (27:32):
Pickle pin, oh right from the World's Fair right.

Speaker 1 (27:36):
Which we talked about in our catchup episode you know.
At the Chicago World's Fair in eighteen ninety three, Hines,
who that very same year debuted their fifty seven varieties
of pickles, preserves and other pickled foods, handed out free
picklepins to visitors to their booth some one million pins

by the fairs end. So successful was this promotion they
repeated it as several other world's fairs. And if you
visit the Heines Museum and take the stairs to this
day you can still get one of these.

Speaker 2 (28:09):
I want one so bad I do too.

Speaker 1 (28:11):
I found one on eBay. It was a little pricey,
and I was like, Hm, how badly do I want?

Speaker 2 (28:18):
Do I want one?

Speaker 1 (28:19):
And how ridiculous does it make me look?

Speaker 2 (28:21):
Yeah? Apparently Hines was the first commercial producer of vinegar. Oh,
which kind of went hand in hand because they were
making so much of it for their pickled products that, yeah,
they sold it for home use as well.

Speaker 1 (28:35):
Makes sense? Makes sense. The trade organization of Pickle Packers
International Pickle Packers International that sounds like a tongue twister,
also came together in eighteen ninety three. In nineteen twenty six,
mount Olive, a company out of Mount Alive, North Carolina.
Oh Yeah, got it started with the original goal of

brining pickles for other picklers. I was not to be, however,
and they are now one of the biggest names in pickles.
Another name you might recognize, blastic Polish style pickles, got
their start in Detroit in nineteen forty two, and around
this time, during World War Two, pickles were another food
that was rationed in the US. Forty percent of pickles

went to the army. Once the war was over and
a couple of years had passed, in nineteen forty eight,
Pickle Packers International launched International Pickle Week. This is celebrated
to this day, complete with a pickle juice drinking contest
in Arkansas. I will see you the in Arkansas. It
is one of America's longest running food promotions. I think

it lasts. I think it's Pickle Week, but I think
it lasts like fourteen days or something. They haven't changed
the name to reflect that.

Speaker 2 (29:48):
Oh that's great. It's like dragon con. It just kind
of spreads.

Speaker 1 (29:51):
It's true. It's true. In nineteen seventy four, Plastic chose
the stork as their mascot because at the time the
the American birth rate was dropping. How interesting that they
chose it for that reason. The slogan might help it
make more sense delivered pickles since babies were in such
short supply.

Speaker 2 (30:12):
Are they saying that babies are a food source? Are
they are people canning babies? It's got dark.

Speaker 1 (30:20):
It really did, very quickly. I'm sure that's not what
they were hoping. What happened, Plastic, I'm not sure about
your brand messaging. I do like it's like deliver pickles
since babies were in such short supply as if a pickle.

Speaker 2 (30:36):
Well, I guess, I get well, I guess, I guess
just the stork is like out of work, like he's
looking for a job. Oh yeah, you know, like he's
on hard times. So he's like, well, I guess I'll
deliver pickles. There's no more babies for me to deliver.
That's also dark.

Speaker 1 (30:51):
That is well, we'll have to move on and discuss
that later. Yes, but as part of this this whole thing,
they doubled down on the idea that pregnant women craved pickles. Yeah,
in the eighties they went with this slogan the pickles
pregnant women crave. And I was researching into this pickles

and ice cream is the go to stereotypical pregnant lady
craving in the US, but that is not the same
in other countries, I learned. And I would love for
listeners to write in and say, what is the stereotypical
food you say in your country that pregnant women crave. Yeah, yeah,
but here it's pickles and ice cream. A nineteen fifty

two episode of I Love Lucy how a pregnant Lucy
send Ricky in search of a papaya milkshake and a pickle.
So it's pretty old. It's been around for a while.
And here's a strange record for you. In nineteen eighty five,
Stephen Trotter became the youngest fellow to survive the Niagara
Falls plunge. So, yes, he went over the waterfall. His

transport of choice, some kind of big safety bubble, no
two pickle barrels.

Speaker 2 (32:08):
Huh m hm.

Speaker 1 (32:10):
And he replicated the stunt in nineteen ninety five. Well,
good for him, Yeah, good for him. It's quite a
craft if you want to look it up. It's kind
of impressive.

Speaker 2 (32:22):

Speaker 1 (32:24):
In two thousand, the Philadelphia Eagles credited their win against
the Dallas Cowboys on a game day where temperatures got
up to one hundred and nine degrees fahrenheit, which is
about forty three degrees celsius, to drinking pickle juice. Sort
of what you were talking about earlier, Lauren. A study
done by Brigham Young University a little later, and reported
on by The New York Times, found that pickle juice

relieved crams about forty five percent faster than no hydration
and about thirty seven percent faster than water salt salt salt.
That's the answer. I mean, I wonder if that's why
kids like it, or maybe maybe that's just in my family.

I don't know mysteries of Rehese family history. New York
City's first Pickle Day celebration took place in two thousand
and one. Yes, okay, and now there are kool Aid pickles,
which I believe you have had.

Speaker 2 (33:26):
Oh let's see, yes, I think so, Yes, yes, I
had like Actually I believe they were Hawaiian punch pickles.
Oh yeah, yeah, you can. You can make pickles extra
sweet and kind of fruity flavored by adding like a
packet of kool Aid or similar flavoring to the brine solution.

I'm honestly not sure why you would do this. I
apparently they're popular with kids, apparently especially in the American South,
But you never had them growing up. This was never
a thing.

Speaker 1 (33:58):
Oh I thought this happened like this year.

Speaker 2 (34:01):
Oh no, no, I know. I'm pretty sure, this is
like a thing that has gone back several decades at least.

Speaker 1 (34:05):
Oh, well, I should have moved this earlier in my history. Recrusting.
Then I thought this happened like months ago. No, no,
I guess I'm too mad of the pickle news cycle.

Speaker 2 (34:19):
We'll forgive you just this once, Annie, Thank you.

Speaker 1 (34:22):
I appreciate it. I'll endeavor to do better in my
pickle knowledge. But yeah, that's our pickle episode. Yeah, we
got through it with I mean it's relatively professionally.

Speaker 2 (34:40):
Yeah, relatively little giggling.

Speaker 1 (34:41):
Yeah, it's just a great word. It is. You say
it enough and you'd think you'd get used to it.

Speaker 2 (34:47):
But no, it's delightful every time.

Speaker 1 (34:50):
Delightful every time. Pickle pickle. Yep, I bet you're doing
it too. And that brings us to the end of
this classic episode. We hope that you enjoyed it as
much as we did. As always, Yes, if you have recipes,
please send us. Oh yeah please. Oh yeah.

Speaker 2 (35:13):
If you just have a strong pickle opinion, we want
to hear it.

Speaker 1 (35:17):
Yes we do. That's what we're here for. I also
forgot to mention I have a lot of pickle merchandise
thanks to a sponsor, and a friend of mine recently
asked was telling me about her love of this particular brand.

I got an embarrassing amount of enjoyment and pride out
of being like, look at all my merchandise. So that's
been nice. You got to find the perks where you can.
You do you do? Pickles are pickles are a good perk?

Speaker 2 (35:59):
Pickle parks?

Speaker 1 (36:00):

Speaker 2 (36:01):
Yeah, oh yeah.

Speaker 1 (36:03):
Well, listeners, if you would like to contact those you can.
You can email us at hello at savorpod dot com.

Speaker 2 (36:11):
We're also on social media. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook,
and Instagram. That's the third one, yeah, at saver pod,
and we do hope to hear from you. Savor is
a production of iHeartRadio. For more podcasts from my heart Radio,
you can visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever
you listen to your favorite shows. Thanks as always to
our super producers Dylan Fagan and Andrew Howard. Thanks to

you for listening, and we hope that lots more good
things are coming your way

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Dylan Fagan

Anney Reese

Anney Reese

Lauren Vogelbaum

Lauren Vogelbaum

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