A Short History of Pickling

So where did it all start I hear you ask? Very good question guys! Let me give you The Crooked Pickle's very short history of pickling....

First off, the name 'pickle'. Originating from the Dutch word 'peckel' which simply means 'brine' and refers to the method used when pickling began. In short, it was salty water. (Here at Crooked Pickle HQ, we pickle all our freshly picked vegetables in vinegar - keeping them vibrant and crunchy!)

Origins of Pickling

Pickling began many, many years ago (approximately 4000 years actually!) with the Mesopotamians, who were partial to preserving their cucumbers. This revolutionary technique meant that they were now able to stockpile their food (unless you were fussy and didn't like cucumbers) and survive long winters when food was more scarce. 

Pickling during the Middle Ages

Fast forward to the middle ages and pickled foods were now part of everyday life. It was during this intrepid period of travel and discovery that Christopher Colombus first introduced the humble pickle to the Americas having grown them in Haiti to keep scurvy at bay from his sailors whilst on expeditions. Good old Colombus! Some now see New York as the pickle capital of the world, but we all know that Chesterfield is really, don't we?

Back in Blighty, even Shakespeare paid homage to the pickle, popularising the phrase 'in a pickle' when describing someone in a tricky situation. Who'd have thought? We're always 'in a pickle' here at Crooked, but thankfully only in a good way! 

18th and 19th Centuries

Towards the end of the 1700s, we start to see more industrial-scale pickling in factories. Furthermore, off the back of this, we start to see the pottery industry grow, tasked with supplying stoneware pickling jars that wouldn't react with the acetic acid of the pickling vinegar. Pickling is getting bigger!!

20th Century pickles and beyond...

As you can imagine, with the UK at war and food rationed, pickling became part of daily life. Dig for Victory was a campaign encouraging people to grow their own veg at home and on allotments. Lots of lovely vegetables, all pickled and waiting to be served alongside a piece of homade pork pie, if they were lucky. (If they were unlucky, it was just a crust of bread 😳)

Of course, Pickling today is all about the flavour. Here at Crooked Pickle Co, we recognised a gap in the market for tasty and inventive pickling recipes. Pickles that you just can't wait to plate up and devour. The range started with our famous Bread and butter pickles and has grown to include tasty treats like Korean Pickled Garlic, both of which received awards at the 2020 Great Taste Awards. Wow 🙌

So what are you waiting for. Stock up on your pickles now. Christmas just wouldn't be the same without some pickle. Back by popular demand and the perfect gifts for all the foodies out there, our Crooked Pickle Co. gift packs. Three delicious jars of cheeseboard pickle favourites in a handy gift pack. Seriously, what's not to love? To order yours, click here



Keep Safe!


Love the blogpost very interesting.
Keep doing the good work (pickling)

Carsten | Dec 09, 2020

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