Pickles, those tangy, naturally-fermented delights!
The mere thought of them fills our mouths with water. You can’t think of savoring the piping hot parathas without your favorite pickle. Nor can you imagine eating khichdi on a rainy day without pairing it with spicy pickles.
Pickles can transform an average dish into something extraordinary. But, while you savor the tasty pickles, have you ever wondered about their origin? How did it become a mainstay in Indian cuisine? Is there a pickle history?
Pickles have been around since 2030 BC, and there is a fascinating history behind this classic delicacy. Let us unfold the history of mouthwatering food and learn about the different varieties of Indian pickles.
History of pickles
Pickles have a staggeringly lengthy history on the world’s culinary stage, stretching from ancient Egypt through the Chicago World’s Fair.
The term “pickle” derives from the northern German pókel or the Dutch pekel, which imply “brine” or “salt”, two vital aspects in the pickling process.
Ancient Mesopotamians were perhaps the inventors of pickles about 4,000 years ago when they began immersing cucumbers in acidic brine to preserve them. Since then, pickles have become a mainstay in civilizations worldwide, recognized for their wholesomeness, health advantages, and exquisite taste.
Interesting facts about pickles
Pickles were said to have contributed to Cleopatra’s beauty. Pickles were a favorite of Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte, while Aristotle admired the healing benefits of pickled cucumbers. Pickles appear in Shakespeare’s writings and even in the Bible (and that too twice!).
Explorers and mariners — such as Christopher Columbus (1451–1506 CE) and Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512 CE) — kept pickles handy on their ships. These delicacies were great to combat food shortages and prevent scurvy in sailors due to deficiency of Vitamin C.
The genesis of Indian pickles
Pickles in India were more than just brine-preserved vegetables. Ibn Battuta (1304-1377 CE), a Moroccan traveler and writer, chronicled daily life during Muhammad Bin Tughlaq’s reign in the 14th century CE. He noted that mango and ginger pickle was a great meal accompaniment.
As early as 2400BC, Mesopotamians were pickling cucumbers transported from their India in vinegar. Indian pickles were highly advanced several centuries ago, according to culinary historian KT Achaya’s book A Historical Definition of Indian Food.
According to Sangeeta Khanna, culinary expert and author of Pakodas: The Snack for All Seasons, pickles were essential to the Indian diet. As per Ayurvedic scriptures, pickles fulfill the shad rasas (six tastes — sweet, pungent, sour, astringent, salty, and bitter) criteria.
The intense flavor and fragrance of pickles stimulated the salivary glands, which aided digestion. In fact, certain pickles, according to Khanna, were created for their medicinal benefits. Ayurvedic literature referred to pickles as Agni Pradeepak, which means that they increased the ‘fire' in your system. They most likely indicated that the pickles enhanced metabolism.
Different types of Indian pickles
Pickles are available in a dizzying array of flavors in India. From exotic fruit pickles to a lip-smacking variety of classic pickles, Goosebumps offers the best Indian pickles that can tantalize your taste buds every time you savor them.
Our exotic fruit pickles are an example of innovation and tradition. If you want to try something extraordinary, go for our Guava Chilli Pickle, Cranberry Kalonji Pickle, Pineapple Pepper Pickle, and Orange fennel Pickle.
On the other hand, if your heart longs for classic pickles, we have an assortment consisting of tangy, sweet, spicy, and delectable pickles. Our range of traditional pickles includes Mango, Green chili, Khatti Keri Mustard, and many more.
Goosebumps understands that you need the right blend of the finest quality ingredients to obtain the authentic flavor of a pickle. Our expert chefs hone these hand-picked ingredients to give you that taste that reminds you of your mother’s and grandmother’s kitchen. So, Goosebumps pickles are modern relishes that improve the flavor of food.