Written by Lorraine Grochowski Kiefer Sunday, 27 June 2004 17:00
The history of pickles stretches so far back into antiquity that no definite time has been established for their origin, but they are estimated to be over 4,000 years old.
In 2,030 BC, cucumbers native to India were brought to the Tigris Valley. There, they were first preserved and eaten as pickles. Cucumbers are mentioned at least twice in the Bible (Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8) and history records their usage over 3,000 years ago in Western Asia, ancient Egypt and Greece. In 850 B.C., Aristotle praised the healing effects of cured cucumbers. Cleopatra attributed a portion of her beauty to pickles -- though we're not sure which portion. Pliny's writings mention spiced and preserved cucumbers; in other words, pickles. The Roman Emperor Tiberius consumed pickles on a daily basis. Julius Caesar thought pickles had an invigorating effect, so, naturally, he shared them with his legions.