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Explainer: Dill Pickles

Are you feeling in a pickle about how dills got their name? Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

It turns out that dill pickles are simply pickles that are flavored with dill weed! Dill is an herb that’s been used for centuries for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Its unique flavor is described as tangy, savory, and slightly sweet, with a hint of anise or licorice. And boy, does it make a great addition to pickles!

Pickling has been used to preserve food for thousands of years. When food was scarce or needed to be transported over long distances, people would preserve it in a vinegar, water, and salt solution (also known as brine), along with various flavorings like spices, herbs, and garlic. Dill weed quickly became a popular choice for pickling cucumbers, thanks to its “dill-ightful” taste!

Dill pickles became especially popular in the United States in the early 20th century, thanks to Jewish immigrants who brought their traditional recipes for pickling cucumbers (including dill weed) with them. These pickles soon became a staple in delicatessens and Jewish restaurants, and eventually became a beloved food all over the country.

Today, dill pickles are enjoyed by people all over the world, and are a popular choice for snacking, sandwiches, and even as a topping for hamburgers and hot dogs. They’re “kind of a big dill”! And they owe their name to the flavorful herb that gives them their unique taste. So the next time you bite into a dill pickle, remember the humble origins of this “pickle-icious” food!

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