Pickles (was: Re: Which Contains Far Too Many Confusions...)

Gili Bar-Hillel abhillel at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 27 07:36:21 EST 2001


Melissa asked about pickles:
Have you never been served pickled vegetables other than cucumbers?
In Israeli restaraunts that serve middle-eastern food it is quite common to 
serve pickles as a standard dish before you've even placed your orders. 
There will always be olives and pickles (cucumbers) in the dish, and often 
pickled cabbage, cauliflower or radishes, and sometimes sliced raw onions.

Here's another story about my grandmother, who grew up in Poland. She was 
born in 1914 in a family of few means and several children, of which she was 
the baby, being 15 years younger than the next youngest brother. She did not 
tell me many stories about her childhood, but here's one that came out the 
first time I mortally offended her by refusing to eat a slice of pickled 
apple. She told me that when she was a child in Poland, fruits and 
vegetables were very scarce in winter, so just before the weather turned too 
cold her family would make sure to prepare great big barrels of pickled 
vegetables to eat during the winter. The staple vegetable in these barrels 
was cabbage, as it was common and cheap, but a few apples were added in for 
flavour. By mid-winter, she claimed, everyone was thoroughly sick of pickled 
cabbages. But the pickled apples were a fought-over delicacy, and one of her 
special privileges as family baby was to eat the apples.

I loved this story, and I wish she had told me more about her childhood. But 
it did nothing to change the fact that when she prepared pickles, I far 
preferred the cabbage to the apples.
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