Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This Pickled Life

I love pickles of all kinds. I went to a deli the other day with members of the Palm Springs Genealogy Society and the deli served small plates of sauerkraut, pickles and pickled green tomatoes. I could have sat there all day just eating that.

It seems that countries all over the world have some sort of version of sauerkraut and/or pickles. Wikipedia,, provides a long list of countries that serve a version of sauerkraut, everything from kimchi in Korea to a sour cabbage dish served in Serbia. So it seems that wherever your ancestor came from-they may have used a form of sauerkraut or pickled something. I know my own maternal grandmother use to take pickled beet juice and pickle eggs with it. Boy am I getting hungry....

Sauerkraut also is believed to have some healthful properties. Everything from providing you vitamins to settling your stomach to curing avian flu in birds.
The website, I Love Pickles,, provides ideas and facts about all types of pickles and pickled dishes. There's a whole website devoted to recipes with sauerkraut at A pickle history timeline can be found through the New York Food Museum website at And a vintage recipe, straight from the newspaper, can be found here,

(Image from Wikipedia)


geneabloggers said...

I love pickles too - especially homemade bread and butter slices. To me, pickles are one of the four major food groups.

My great-grandmother used to make her own sauerkraut in crocks in the basement and there is nothing that compares.

Since refrigeration was basically non-existent until the 20th century, brining was one more way of preserving foods for later use.

Gena Philibert Ortega said...

I totally agree. My favorite foods are dip (with chips or veggies) and anything pickled. Yum!

I think our genealogy should be a look at our ancestor's life-and food is a big part of that. I love your point that brining was important in the days before refrigeration. What seems like a condiment today-was actually a very important food in an earlier era.