Humans have been pick­ling and pre­serv­ing food for nearly 5000 years.

Queen Cleopa­tra attrib­uted her good health and remark­able looks to her indul­gent diet of pick­les.

The United States gov­ern­ment rationed pick­les in the 1940’s, dur­ing World War II. Forty per­cent of the nation’s pro­duc­tion went to our armed forces.

Aunt Bee (the fic­tional tele­vi­sion char­ac­ter of the 1960’s Andy Grif­fith Show) entered her home­made pick­les in a local con­test, cre­at­ing angst in the fam­ily over her “kerosene cucum­bers”.

Over cen­turies, the love affair for pick­led foods has only grown stronger. Cur­rent pickle trends move well past a cucum­bers only rule. A wave of “DIY” pick­les of fruits and veg­eta­bles in acidic baths or brines keeps us inter­ested.

Sweet, sour, salty, spicy or hot cre­ative and com­plex com­bi­na­tions make us pickle happy. Cus­tomized blends of vine­gars, salts and spices are the for­mula to win­ning secret recipes.


A bril­liant solu­tion to pre­serv­ing any­thing from the gar­den, farmer’s mar­ket or gro­cer, its time to run through the long list of what’s com­ing into sea­son with pick­ling poten­tial. Pay atten­tion to prospects. Try not to skip over unusual can­di­dates for pick­ling. Straw­ber­ries and water­melon rind are a cou­ple of unex­pected sea­sonal sur­prises. Brine Basics– For quick pick­les, a basic brine of half water and half vine­gar seems to fit the bill. Nat­u­rally, adjust the ratios to per­sonal tastes. Any basic vine­gar is fair game (apple cider, white wine or rice vine­gars all work well).

They can stand alone or be mixed with one another. Try to stay away from aged or con­cen­trated vine­gars for pick­ling. This includes Bal­samic or malt vine­gars.

The key to mak­ing really fla­vor­ful pick­les is all in those secret spices added to the brine. Dill pick­les are sim­ply cucum­bers fla­vored with gar­lic, dill seed, and red pep­per flakes. Car­rots become exotic when bathed in corian­der, gin­ger and turmeric.

Pick and choose from clas­sic com­bi­na­tions (green beans or aspara­gus with gar­lic and pep­per­corns) or exper­i­ment with new for­mu­las for col­ored pep­pers, cau­li­flower, onions and okra.

Whole spices (mus­tard seed, corian­der, pep­per­corns, red pep­per flakes) and ground spices (turmeric, cloves or smoked paprika) are great for both color and fla­vor.

“Peter Piper pick­ing a peck of pick­led pep­pers” likely ref­er­ences a French spice smug­gler who boldly dared to pro­duce his own pickle ingre­di­ents. Explore the pantry for new frontiers.

To read the full Mar­ket Report, includ­ing this week’s mar­ket update, see below or click here.