International Pickle Week takes place May 15-25 this year -- and yes, I am noting for the record that that's actually 10 days, but who am I to argue with the Pickle Authorities? The event, scheduled right around the same time of year that the Northern Hemisphere is planting cucumbers for summer growth, celebrates those briny, vinegary vegetables that serve as a savory snack or condiment.
This is the 60th anniversary of a celebration started in 1948 by Pickle Packers International, Inc. The trade association says the average American eats nine pounds of pickles each year. For more pickle facts, visit the website.
And to further pacify your pickle passion, check out Pickle Week for a different cuke activity and recipe each day, like this one for a Pickletini.
Pickles are a major player in Eastern European cuisine, so it was a delight to run into Del Monte's Pickle Guy at the 2008 Fancy Food / All Things Organic Show in Chicago recently, and to learn Del Monte has had an organic line of pickles since 2005. Last year, their Organic Sweet Bread & Butter Chips was a "Favorite Pickle" winner in features by Real Simple and Every Day with Rachael Ray magazines.
I chose Del Monte's organic baby kosher dills for my Creamy Polish Dill Pickle Soup and tomato-based Polish Dill Pickle Soup recipes and they worked like a champ.