International Pickle Week officially kicks off today, May 16. Read on for some facts that will pickle…er, tickle you.
- Americans eat an average of nine pounds of pickles every year.
- America was named after Amerigo Vespucci, a pickle merchant.
- Christopher Columbus reportedly packed his ships (the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria) with vitamin-C rich pickles to keep his crew from getting scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin-C deficiency that often ravaged ship crews on long voyages.
- 40 percent of U.S.-produced pickles were claimed by the U.S. Army for soldier rations during WWII.
- Technically, pickles may be considered both a fruit and a vegetable. While they are made from cucumbers, which are a vegetable, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled them a â€˜fruit of the vineâ€™ because of their seeds.
- Elvis was a fan of fried pickles.
- International Pickle Week was started in 1948 by the Pickle Packers International, Inc. trade association, to honor the ancient, world-renowned food during the heart of cucumber planting season.
- The celebration actually lasts for 11 days, through May 26.
- A new website has been created by the M.A. Gedney Company (producers of Cains, Gedney and Del Monte Pickles); each day during International Pickle Week, the website will reveal a new pickle project â€“ trivia, activities, a daily recipe and more.
In summary, â€˜Pickles have played an important role in our culture for more than 4,000 years,â€™ said Joe Pinto, vice president of marketing and sales for pickle producer M.A. Gedney Company. â€˜What other food was considered a beauty treatment by Cleopatra, a performance enhancer by Napoleon and Julius Caesar, a medicinal necessity by explorers, and a comforting treat by Thomas Jefferson… and is still relevant and delicious today?â€™
Ice cream, anyone?
Source: Pickle Packers International
For a sneak preview of some of the website features, click here.