PICKLE. In the wider sense the term " pickle " is applied to any saline or acid preservative solution; in the narrower to vegetables preserved in vinegar. The word appears to be an adaptation of Dutch pekel, brine, pickle; cf. Ger. Pokel. The ultimate origin is unknown; connexions with a supposed inventor's name, such as Beukeler or Bo'ckel are mere inventions. A solution of copper or zinc sulphate is used as a " pickle " for railway-sleepers or other wood, a brine containing salt and saltpetre as a preservative for meat, lime-water as " pickle " for eggs. Domestic pickles are made from small cucumbers, onions, cauliflowers, cabbages, mangoes and unripe walnuts, by either steeping or boiling them in salt-brine and vinegar. On account of the large proportion of water natural to these vegetables, only the strongest vinegar, containing from 5 to 6 % of acetic acid, can be used. For the better kinds vinegar made from malted or unmalted barley is as a rule employed, for cheaper varieties simply dilute acetic acid obtained from acetate of lime. Sauces such as Worcestershire sauce, or Yorkshire relish, consist of fluid pickles, that is of salted and variously spiced vinegar solutions or emulsions containing tissue of vegetables (tomatoes, mushrooms, etc.), or of fish (sardines or anchovies).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)