June is almost over and I need some holidays. We haven’t yet decided when and where to go this year but it will be some time in July and somewhere in Greece.
Although our holidays will just be for a few days, I want to focus on a few other matters I need to finish, so I will not be posting for a few months, although occasionally taking a break, I will be reading your posts.
Before taking a break I want to post a few seasonal recipes with cherries.
Reading about the history of pickles it stretches so far back into antiquity that no definite time has been established for their origin, but they are estimated to be over 4,000 years old.
In 2,030 B.C., cucumbers native to India were brought to the Tigris Valley. There, they were first preserved and eaten as pickles.
Cucumbers are mentioned at least twice in the Bible (Numbers 11:5 and Isaiah 1:8) and history records their usage over 3,000 years ago in Western Asia, ancient Egypt and Greece.
In 850 B.C., Aristotle praised the healing effects of cured cucumbers.
In Greece we say that any vegetable that is edible can be made into a pickle. In Greece, especially in the North and the islands as well as Cyprus we make all sorts of pickles like cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, eggplants, capers (not only the buds but also the leaves and berries), celery, courgettes, olives, beetroot, mushrooms, green beans, etc., but also seafood such as anchovies or octopus, even quail boiled eggs, and are served as appetizers. Unfortunately, in Cyprus the also used to make “ampelopoulia = birds of the vines” pickled and are considered a delicacy to please the most demanding palette. Fortunately enough they are now protected although many of the birds are illegally served up as expensive delicacies over 5 Euros a piece, even though trapping and consumption is strictly banned.
However, I had never heard of pickling fruit as in Greece we preserve our fruit by making them into spoon sweets.
I first read about pickled cherries at Lisa’s post and was very intrigued to try them. As I wasn’t very sure if we would like them I just made a small amount and I just added the spices and flavours I prefer and it was very easy making them.
If you like pickled vegetables and fruit I am sure you will love them. I used them in salads, on appetizers etc.
Just to mention a few of the properties of both sweet and tart cherries: They are rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins, catechins, chlorogenic acid, flavonal glycosides, and melatonin. Cherries also contain beta carotene, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, fiber, and potassium, making them good for the blood as they are rich in iron, for diabetes as they help lower blood sugar, they are valued for their cleansing properties as the fruit is believe to remove toxins. Cherries have shown to contain anti-inflammatory properties, help insomnia, they are beneficial for the heart, they protect against cancer and recent studies show that they help in weight loss.
Source: JN The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Nutrition, The world’s healthies food, Wise Geek.
- 500 grams cherries
- 2 ¼ cup wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup demerera sugar
- 6 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lemon rind
- 1 tsp peppercorns (pink, black, green and white)
- ½ tsp coarse sea salt
Put everything but the cherries in a saucepan, and bring to the boil, simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
Put the cherries in a bowl and pour the hot liquid to cover them. Allow to cool at room temperature preferably overnight.
Store in a sterilized jar in the refrigerator.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!!