Pickles have been a popular food since 2030 B.C. when they were imported from India to the Tigris Valley and were first preserved and eaten as pickles.
In ancient Egypt, people ate pickles not only for their nutritional value and because they were thought to enhance beauty. Cleopatra attributed her good looks to her full diet of pickles. Centuries later, Napoleon believed that pickles offered health benefits for his armies, so he offered a huge cash prize to anyone who was able to preserve them safely.
A pickle is such a versatile vegetable that it can be eaten as a condiment, snack, or side dish.
Soured cucumbers are commonly used in a variety of dishes such as pickle-stuffed meatloaf, potato salad, tuna salad or chicken salad or eaten alone as an appetizer.
Pickles are sometimes served alone as festival foods, often on a stick.
Have you ever tried Kool-Aid pickles or "koolickles"? They are made by soaking dill pickles in a mixture of Kool-Aid and pickle brin. These are enjoyed by children.
Have you ever tried a lime pickle? Lime pickles are soaked in lime rather than in a salt brine. This is done more to enhance texture (by making them crisper) rather than as a preservative. The lime is then rinsed off the pickles. Vinegar, sugar and pickling spices re often added after the 24-hour soak in lime.
There probably are more types of pickles than you realize. Experiment with one you haven't tried and enjoy National Pickle Day!