Earlier this year, Newfoundlanders faced a crisis. It wasn’t the economy, or the latest political budget. It was pickles.
News of the discontinuation of Zest’s mustard pickles was met with a public uproar in the province this March, with bottles of the beloved yellow pickles selling for several times their retail price. But even the biggest pickle fan might balk at drinking the juice those salty delights are stored in, or upping their intake for reasons of health and not taste. But it turns out that you might want to reconsider your position, because both pickles and pickle juice have some health benefits that might surprise you.
Pickling has been with us about as long as food itself. Roman emperor Tiberius (42 BC to 37 AD) allegedly loved cucumbers. Before we had appliances like fridges and freezers, pickling was a way to preserve foods for the long haul. And on top of that, pickled foods are delicious, which is why they’re a part of cuisines from around the world. If there are some health benefits to go along with that tasty tartness, even better!
Here are 13 things you should know about pickles and pickle juice, from what pickling means to what the health benefits (and drawbacks) might be and how to eat them.