Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Crunch On!

When my sister Linda and I
were growing up,
we didn't crave treats of ice cream
or pizza- or even candy.
Our idea of a special treat was

It really didn't matter what brand they were-
as long as they were crunchy and sour.

Our whole family has this thing about sour stuff.
We like pickled eggs, green gooseberries, salted lemons-
and even bologna in vinegar.
And by the looks of it,
it's been passed down through the generations.

I can't remember the last time I ate a pickle,
but I've got at least three kinds in my fridge
for the grand kids.

One hot summer, Linda and I walked all the way to town.
It was probably 4 or 5 miles, but we were young and thin
back then-
(and not bothered by achy backs,
sore muscles,
and chaffing thighs.)

Our goal on that particular day
was to go to Kroger
to buy a jar of pickles.

We must have discussed it in great length.
Because we knew we wanted the
little midget kosher dills
that were no bigger than our pinkie fingers.

Oh! We were so excited as
we purchased our prized pickles
and retreated to the curb
to partake in their sour satisfaction!

But, all of a sudden,
we dropped the jar.

There lay our baby pickles,
in a pool of brine and vinegar,
on a dirty public sidewalk-
amid chunks of glass.

Did we cry?
Did we run home mad?
Did we have enough money for another jar?
No. No.And no.

We sat down and ate them!

(I have got to wonder now
if we might have been
a little retarded back then.)

I guess we aren't the only people
who enjoy a good pickle.
According to Pickle Packers International,
Americans buy pickles every 53 days.

And pickles have a special holiday, too.

International Pickle Week is one of
the country's longest running food promotions.
It's been observed for more than 50 years,
and actually runs for 10 days-
during the last two weeks of May.

I thought I was pretty familiar with the pickle.
But here are some facts that I did not know:

Good pickles have an audible crunch at 10 paces. This can be measured at "crunch-off" using the "scientific" device known as the Audible Crunch Meter. Pickles that can be heard at only one pace are known as denture dills.

North Americans prefer pickles with warts. Europeans prefer wartless pickles. Refrigerated pickles account for about 20 percent of all pickle sales.

During WWII the U.S. Government tagged 40 percent of all pickle production for the ration kits of the armed forces.

More than 67 percent of all households eat pickles.

Americans consume more than 9 pounds of pickles per person annually.

Pickles are fat free and low in calories. An average-size dill contains only 15 calories. 

Maybe Linda and I should have stuck with pickles.
Our choice of treats nowadays aren't sour at all.
They consist of rich, sweet indulgent desserts
that stick to our thighs like humongous sucky leeches.

But, I still believe in pickle power.

Take time to enjoy a cute little cuke.
Celebrate International Pickle Week-
going on now...
(and try not to drop the jar!)

Crunch On!