Pickles have been enjoyed by civilizations for centuries. In 2030 BC, cucumbers were pickled in the Tigris Valley. Pickle is derived from the Dutch word pekel or the northern German word pokel which means salt or brine. These two components are very important in the pickling process. When fresh fruit and vegetables are immersed in saltwater brine, lactic microbial organisms develop and it creates an environment where spoiling bacteria can’t multiple. Pickles have played an important part in history. They have filled the stomachs of hungry sailors and travelers. They have also fed families during the cold winters when food was scarce. Pickled vegetables were a dietary staple for Jewish people living in Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Russia. It was an autumn custom for Ashkenazim to fill barrels with beets, shredded cabbage and cucumbers to be left in cool dark cellars for fermentation. In the late 1800s, eastern European Jewish immigrants introduced kosher dill pickles to the U.S. when they arrived in New York City. Jewish immigrants sold pickles on pushcarts and eventually were sold them at Jewish-owned shops and delis. Pickles were stored in barrels until about the 1850s. In 1850, chemist James Young produced and patented paraffin wax which helped create a seal for jars used for preserving food. In 1858, John Mason developed and patented the first Mason jar which became a game changer in the canning and processing of pickles. Mason jars were made from heavyweight glass which could tolerate high temperatures used in canning. Today, pickles remain a favorite treat in countries all over the world.
The Limoges Pickle Jar Box has painted green brush strokes to resemble pickles and a painted picture of a cucumber plant. This item includes a porcelain pickle and would be a welcomed gift for anyone who enjoys them!