Pickle Packers International, Inc.
A Peck of Perfectly Plausible Pickle and Pickled Pepper Facts
- Pickling is one of the oldest forms of food preservation, discovered at the dawn of civilization, thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia.
- North Americans prefer pickles with warts. Europeans prefer wartless pickles. Refrigerated pickles account for about 20 percent of all pickle sales.
- International Pickle Week is one of the country's longest running food promotions --it's been observed for more than 50 years. IPW actually runs for 10 days during the last two weeks of May.
- According to the U.S. Supreme Court, pickles are technically a "fruit" of the vine (like tomatoes), but they are generally known as a vegetable.
- Americans consume more than 2.5 billion pounds of pickles each year - that's 20 billion pickles! And since it takes almost 4 billion pickles to reach the moon, all the pickles we eat would reach the moon and back more than 2 times!
- Pickle Packers International has its own official limerick and theme song - the Pickle Polka. The pickle got its name in the 1300s when English speaking people mispronounced William Beukelz' name - he was a Dutch fisherman known for pickling fish.
- The phrase "in a pickle" was first introduced by Shakespeare in his play, The Tempest. The quotes read, "How cam'st thou in this pickle?" and "I have been in such a pickle�"
- On his voyage in 1492, Columbus not only discovered America, but gave peppers their name. In search of black pepper from the Orient, he assumed the spicy pods used to flavor foods in America were a form of black pepper and mistakenly called them "pimiento," or pepper. Actually, the plants are not related at all.
- The "hot" sensation one experiences when eating pickled peppers is caused by Capsaicin. This powerful substance can be detected at one part in a trillion.
- During WWII the U.S. Government tagged 40 percent of all pickle production for the ration kits of the armed forces.
- When you eat hot peppers, the pain receptors on the tongue react and cause a physical reaction called "sweating." You start to salivate and perspire, your nose runs, your metabolism speeds up - this is all the body's reaction working to cool itself.
- Good pickles have an audible crunch at 10 paces. This can be measured at "crunch-off" using the "scientific" device known as the Audible Crunch Meter. Pickles that can be heard at only one pace are known as denture dills.
© 2013, Pickle Packers International, Inc.
Pickle Packers International, Inc. is a trade association for the pickled vegetable industry.