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Table of Contents

1 Pickling: Principles and Practice
2 Asia: Ferment and Fire
3 The Mediterranean: Ancient and Modern
4 From the Middle East to Latin America: bArabs and Conquistadores
5 From the Baltic to America: Sustenance and Savour
6 From Asia to the Atlantic: Trade and Empire
7 Pickles Today
Select Bibliography
Websites and Associations
Photo Acknowledgements

About the Author

Jan Davison lives and works in London. Her first book, English Sausages (2015), explored the little-known culinary history of England's sausages and puddings.


"To me, a pedant and a purist, a pickle by rights ought to have gone through a proper fermentation. It might have been pasteurized afterwards and bottled, but at some stage it needs to have supported microbial activity. And yet, I don't think of kombucha as pickled tea or yogurt as pickled milk. Maybe that's because they aren't salted. Just being boiled in vinegar or soaked in brine doesn't qualify either, for me. Luckily Davison, author of Pickles: A Global History, has a much more open mind, which is great, because I learned a lot from her little book."--Jeremy Cherfas "Eat This Podcast"

"Pickles aren't simple, or so one learns after consuming just a few pages of Pickles. . . . There are quick pickles, pickle pickles and fermented pickles, not to mention dry salting and dry pickling with soybean paste or rice mold, ketchup, hot sauce--you get the idea. The fundamentals are simple: When the pH drops below 4.6, the acidic environment 'prevents the growth of food-spoiling microorganisms and eliminates certain food toxins and pathogens.' In other words, pickling preserves. And as with most cured foods, the results taste great, too. Pickles were common 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Romans pickled whole fried fish in hot vinegar. The range of pickled foods extends from mushrooms in Russia, locusts in Persia and herring in Holland to bananas in the West Indies, lemons in North Africa and feta in Greece. In Japan, they quick-pickle chrysanthemums as a condiment. Who knew?"--Christopher Kimball "Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Magazine"

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