Culinary preference is always in a state of flux, whether in India or beyond. We have whole-heartedly adopted Chinese, Italian and other cuisines as our own and the same trend is seen elsewhere. Pickle is native to India and is the most popular accompaniment for Indian meals. Fruits or vegetables fermented in high acid concentration involving oils, lemon, vinegar or brine, make for some delicious side dishes. Even a speck of the acidic taste of pickled foods can turnaround a non-descript meal. While we can never get enough of our desi aam ka achaar or nimbu ka achaar, people enjoy the same salty, sour, sweet and bitter taste in olives, jalapenos and capers. In fact, pickle-flavoured foods are the latest craze in America and people are scouting for everything in this flavour.
As strange as it sounds but Americans are enjoying everything pickled - from pickle burger, pizza and falafel to pickle beer and even chips, dips and juices. The umami flavour that adds complexity and heat to the food is something that we welcomed long time ago and now it's being recognised all over the world. What started as the practice of food preservation in ancient times has now become a culinary art.
(Also Read: 11 Best Pickle Recipes | Easy Pickle Recipes)
Reason Behind the Rising Popularity Of Pickled Foods
For starters, the process of pickling increases the shelf-life of the foods. This is the reason why the practice was originally born. Apart from this, pickling improves the flavour profile of foods that imbue a distinctive tangy and sour taste. But these are not the only benefits we get from pickled foods. A research paper published in the 'Journal Of Functional Foods' states how pickles impart a bevy of health benefits too.
Health Benefits Of Pickles:
- Microorganisms (mainly lactic acid bacteria along with Micrococcaceae, Bacilli, yeasts, and filamentous fungi) play an instrumental role in the process of pickling. LABs microorganisms enhance probiotic properties in the final food that results in better gut health.
- Pickled foods also restore natural bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacities of fruits and vegetables, helping in boosting the immune system.
- Pickled items are said to have high levels of proteins, vitamins, and dietary fibers.
- Pickles prepared using coloured fruits and vegetables contain pigments such as anthocyanins, flavonoids and carotenoids that are effective in fighting free radicals in the body.
- Improved digestion and a reduction in cholesterol level in the serum has also been attributed to the consumption of pickles.
- Intake of a considerable quantity of pickle may relieve exercise-related muscle cramps.
Considering all the above advantages of having pickles, it come as no surprise that the wave of pickle frenzy is hitting hard.
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.