Thursday, July 22, 2010

17th Century Recipe for Pickled Cucumbers

Photo by David Salafia on Flickr
With canning and preserving foods such big culinary trends these days, it's easy to forget these skills are actually quite old. Canning is centuries old, and preserving foods dates back to ancient times.

One example is this seventeenth-century recipe for pickled cucumbers. Although I strongly recommend you apply only USDA-recommended standards when you preserve foods ... I bet you'll find it interesting to see the similiarities of ingredients with our pickled cucumbers today.

Photo by Lori_NY of Flickr
To Pickle Cucumbers for Winter-Time
from The Compleat Cook, 1671

"Put [cucumbers] in an earthenware vessel: lay first a lay of salt and Dill, then a lay of Cucumbers, and so till they be all laid. Put in some Mace and whole Peppers, and some Fennel-Seed: then fill it up with Malt or Beer-vinegar: and put a clean board and a stone upon it to keep them within the pickle, and so keep them close covered."

Sounds rather delish, don't you think?

For more about canning and preserving, don't miss Nest in Style's podcast interview with Theresa Loe of Growing a Greener World. You can also enter to win a free copy of the book, Canning and Preserving Your Own Harvest.

Meanwhile, how do you like to pickle cucumbers? What else do you like to preserve? Any good recipes? Share your ideas here...


  1. yummy, but all my earthen vessels have holes in the bottom ;-P

    Will have to adapt.

  2. Ha! Be careful. This recipe is more for your information, rather than for actual use. But it does sound yummy. Thanks for stopping by. Teresa

  3. My mom pickles cucumbers. I just love them. Carla

  4. Yum! Homemade pickles are the best, aren't they? Thanks for stopping by, Carla.

  5. Hmm... Now I'm trying to figure out where I can get beer vinegar! :-D

    I was a Renaissance/Medieval history geek long before I became a real foodie. Imagine my joy at being able to combine two passions! A few weeks ago I made fresh bread using a recipe from a SCAdian website. :-)

  6. Hi WordVixen: I can imagine your love of history and your enjoyment of food are a terrific combination. Bon Appetit and thanks for stopping by... Teresa