Why Pickle is Trending on the American Food Circuit – Health Benefits and More
Culinary preferences are always changing, whether in India or beyond. We have wholeheartedly adopted Chinese, Italian and other cuisines like ours and the same trend is found elsewhere. The pickle originated in India and is the most popular accompaniment to Indian dishes. High-acid fermented fruits or vegetables with oils, lemon, vinegar or brine make delicious side dishes. Even a grain of the sour taste of pickled foods can overturn an indescribable 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 flavored foods are the latest craze in America and people are looking for everything in this flavor.
Strange as it may seem, Americans enjoy everything pickled – from pickle burgers, pizza and falafel to pickle beer and even fries, dips and juices. The umami flavor that adds complexity and warmth to food is something we enjoyed a long time ago and now it is recognized around the world. What began 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 growing popularity of pickled foods
For starters, the pickling process increases the shelf life of foods. This is the reason why the practice originally arose. Apart from this, pickling enhances the flavor profile of food which imbues a distinctive sour and sour taste. But these are not the only benefits we get from pickled foods. A research article published in the ‘Functional Foods Journal‘ states how pickles also impart a host of health benefits.
Health benefits of pickles:
- Micro-organisms (mainly lactic acid bacteria as well as Micrococcaceae, bacilli, yeasts and filamentous fungi) play a key role in the pickling process. LAB microorganisms improve the probiotic properties of the final food, which improves intestinal health.
- Pickled foods also restore the natural bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacities of fruits and vegetables, helping to boost the immune system.
- Pickled items are said to have high levels of protein, vitamins, and dietary fiber.
- Pickles prepared from colorful fruits and vegetables contain pigments such as anthocyanins, flavonoids and carotenoids which are effective in fighting free radicals in the body.
- Improved digestion and reduced serum cholesterol levels have also been attributed to pickle consumption.
- Consuming a considerable amount of pickle can relieve exercise-related muscle cramps.
Considering all the above benefits of having pickles, it’s no surprise that the pickle frenzy wave is hitting hard.
About Neha GroverThe love of reading awakened his writing instinct. Neha is guilty of having a deep fixation with anything caffeinated. When she’s not pouring her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can catch her reading while sipping coffee.