What’s the dill?

(Adobe Images)

(Adobe Images)

Pickles are kind of a big dill; in fact the entire month of July is dedicated to them.

Here in the United States, we eat about nine pounds per person every year, and we prefer the sour variety as we eat almost twice as many of the dill as we do the sweet.

And have you ever wondered why there is usually a pickle served with your sandwich? Turns out the acidity of the vinegar works as a palate cleanser allowing us to fully appreciate each nuanced flavor on our plate. Fermented foods are nature’s probiotics and high in healthy bacteria, so they are extremely good for our digestive system.

Pickling a vegetable not only improves the flavor, it also makes it more nutritious and easier for us to digest. Dill pickles and the juice may also help relieve heartburn, and it may increase metabolism due to the acetic acid that increases the body’s metabolic processing of carbs and fat into energy. Who knew?

Put one on your next grilled cheese sandwich or replace your jelly with a pickle for a peanut butter and pickle sandwich, really, it’s a thing. Pickles taste great in tuna salad or egg salad, and of course, we love the tang they add to potato salad. For those a bit more daring how about pickle flavored ice cream or pickle flavor popsicles? Hey, why not?

And don’t throw out the juice. It can be used as a soup stock or as a drink, and many eastern European women use it as a cosmetic; even Cleopatra believed it was the secret to her beauty. Pickles taste great and are good for us both inside and out.

Now that’s a sweet dill.