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 “fruit of the vine” 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 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, “Pickles have played an important role in our culture for more than 4,000 years,” said Joe Pinto, vice president of marketing and sales for pickle producer M.A. Gedney Company. “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?”
Ice cream, anyone?
Source: Pickle Packers International
For a sneak preview of some of the website features, click here.