From the fiery kimchi of Korea to American dill spears; from the spicy achar of India to the ceviche of Latin America; from Europe's sauerkraut to brined herrings and chutneys, pickles are unquestionably a global food. They are also of the moment. Growing interest in naturally fermented vegetables--pickles by another name--means that today, in the early twenty-first century, we are seeing a renaissance in the making and consumption of pickles. Across continents and throughout history, humans have relied upon pickling to preserve foods and add to their flavor. Both a cherished food of the elite and a staple of the masses, pickles have also acquired new significance in our health-conscious times: traditionally fermented pickles are probiotic and said to possess anti-aging and anti-cancer properties, while pickle juice is believed to prevent muscle cramps in athletes and reduce sugar spikes in diabetics. Nota bene: It also cures hangovers.
, Jan Davison explores the cultural and gastronomic importance of pickles from the earliest civilizations' brine-makers to twenty-first-century dilettantes of dill. Join Davison and discover the art of pickling as mastered by the ancient Chinese; find out why Korean astronaut Yi So-yeon took pickled cabbage into space in 2008; learn how the Japanese pickle the deadly puffer fish; and uncover the pickling provenance of that most popular of condiments, tomato ketchup. A compulsively consumable, globe-trotting tour sure to make you pucker, Davison's book shows us how pickles have been omnipresent in humanity's common quest not only to preserve foods, but to create them--with relish.