History of the Pickle

2030 BC - Cucumbers brought from their native India helped begin a tradition of pickling in the Tigris Valley.

2400 BC - Archeologists and anthropologists believe that the ancient Mesopotamians pickled.

Cucumbers are mentioned twice in the Bible ( Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8 and history sets their first usage over 3,000 years in Western Asia, Egypt and Greece.

350 BC - Aristotle praised the healing effects of cured cucumbers.

It is said Roman emperors, among them Julius Caeser, fed pickles to his troops in the belief that they lent physical and spiritual strength.

Ancient Sources not only refer to the nutritional benefits of pickles, but claim that they have long been considered a beauty aid, as Cleopatra attributed her good looks to a hearty diet of pickles.


900 AD - Dill has been introduced to Western Europe from Sumatra.

15th Century

Since the Middle Ages, pickles were a common condiment and snack oin England. Queen Elizabeth chefs made note of her liking them, and Shakespeare references not only pickles, but new uses of the word as metaphor.

Before Amerigo Vespucci set out to explore the New World, he was a pickle peddler in Seville, Spain. Since concerns of food spoilage and the lack of healthy meals were issues on long voyages, he loaded up barrels of pickled vegetables onto explorer ships. Hundreds of sailors were spared the ravages of scurvy because of Vespucci's understanding of the nutritional benefits of pickles.

16th Century

In 1535, Cartier found cucumbers growing in Canada.

In the sixteenth century, one of the prized delicacies were cultivated pickles done by Dutch fine food fanciers. The area that is now New York City was home to the largest concentration of commercial picklers at the time.

17th Century

Pickles were being produced at home and commercially in Virginia as early as 1606.

By 1659, Dutch farmers in New York grew cucumbers all over the area that is now known as Brooklyn. These cucumbers were sold to dealers who cured them in barrels filled with varying flavored brines and were sold in market stalls on Washington, Canal and Fulton Streets.

18th Century

Thomas Jefferson notes: "On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally's cellar."

Napolean valued pickles as a health asset for his armies, he offered the equivalent of $250,000 to anyon who could develop a way to preserve food safely. The man who won the prize in 1809 was a confectioner named Nicholas Appert, who figured out that if you removed the air from a bottle and boiled it, the food wouldn't spoil. He'd have to wait for Pasteur to describe why by making the bottle aritight, no microorganisms could enter, and by boiling it, any microorganisms that existed were killed. Known today as the "boiling water bath," Appert's discovery was one of the most influential culinary contributions in history.

19th Century

In colonial America, the pickle patch was an important adjunct to good living. Pickles were highly regarded by all America's pioneering generations because, under frontier conditions, pickles were the only zesty, juicy, green, succulent food available for many months of the year.

In 1858 - John Mason designed and patented the first Mason jar. Made out of heavier weight glass than normal jars, these were developed to withstand the hight temperatures necessary for processing pickles.

In 1893 - Pickle Packers International, a trade organization for workers in the pickling trade, was founded.

County Fair's original roots are established in 1910.

During World War II, the U.S. government rationed pickles, and accounted for 40% of the country's pickle production.

In September, 2000, after the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys, many players attributed the win to the vigor they gained from drinking pickle juice.

21st Century

2001 - The First Annual New York City International Pickle Day begins - a celebration of pickling traditions for all ages, cultures and culinary persuasions.


Today County Fair is the largest pickler on the West Coast producing Fresh Kosher "Refrigerated Dills" daily from sustainable farms. Utilizing old traditional recipes with new advanced technology, County Fair is the leader in quality products , innovation and sustainablity.