What’s black and white, black and white, black and white… and green? Give up? It’s three zebras fighting over a pickle, of course!

We don’t know for sure if zebras like pickles enough to fight over them, but we sure like them. They’re one of our favorite green foods here in Wonderopolis. By themselves or on a juicy cheeseburger, you just can’t beat pickles!

But what exactly is a pickle? Believe it or not, it’s a cucumber that has been pickled.

Pickling — also called “brining” — is a way of preserving food by fermenting it in vinegar or a saltwater solution called “brine.” The word “pickle” actually comes from the Dutch word pekel, which means “brine.”

The acetic acid in vinegar or the lactic acid produced by brine gives the pickle its salty, sour taste. Brine also can contain a variety of spices to add flavor to pickles.

Common spices added to brine include garlic, horseradish, dill and white mustard seeds. To make pickles more sour, you can add more salt to the brine.

Many foods can be pickled. Commonly pickled foods include cabbage (called “sauerkraut”) and pigs’ feet.

What we all know as a pickle, though, is a pickled cucumber. People in England commonly call pickles “gherkins” because they often pickle a cucumber-like vegetable called a gherkin.

Not all pickles are sour. Bread-and-butter pickles, for example, have a distinctly sweet taste because sugar and other sweeteners are added to the brine.

Like tomatoes, cucumbers (and thus, pickles) are technically fruits. You won’t likely find pickles — even sweet bread-and-butter pickles — in a fruit salad anytime soon, though.

Most people treat them like vegetables since they are grown like vegetables and aren’t naturally sweet. As a snack, pickles offer a good fat-free, low-calorie alternative to high-fat, high-calorie snacks.

Since they’re pickled in brine, though, you do need to be aware that pickles tend to have a higher level of sodium (salt) than other snacks. Pickles are also a source of vitamin K.

 

14 Join the Discussion

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  1. I loved your video! It was really cool! I am going to try and make the koolaid pickles this weekend. And we will send a picture. I think tomorrows wonder will be about making shapes out of the grass. :)

    • We can’t wait to see the picture of your Kool-Aid® pickles, Kayla! What flavor do you think will work best? We think it would be fun to try a few different flavors to see which ones we like best! Thank you for visiting Wonderopolis today! :-)

  2. I would try strawberry koolaid first. :)
    Thank you for this website wonderoplis! It is a great website for kids. And good morning to all my friends in Mrs. Guerrin’s class at the beach! See you soon. :)

  3. Pickles are awesome!! Kool-Aid…never would have thought of that. We are making it right now! It looks SO cool, I can’t wait to taste it!!!

    • We think it’s really awesome that you are making the Kool-Aid® pickles, Elizabeth! What flavor Kool-Aid® did you use? What did they taste like? :-)

  4. We used blue raspberry, and it looked like a really big fruity roll up. They tasted like…a sweet and sour blue popsicle.

    • That sounds very interesting, Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing about your pickle creation! We’re glad you tried the recipe to see how it would turn out! :-)

  5. I love wonderopolis, and pickles which I have had. That kool-aid thing is kind of weird, but it looks pretty cool!

    Love,
    Hannah Kern :) :( :)

    • Thanks for leaving us this AWESOME comment today, Hannah! We like pickles, too, and have heard that the Kool-Aid® pickles can be really tasty! We think we might try making some soon! :-)

  6. Of course they are. They are all mad and jealous of there more popular brothers, cucumbers. ha ha ha ha. I’m kidding.
    (basically that proved my point that I hate pickles and love cucumbers).

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Are all pickles sour?
  • What is brine?
  • How do you make Kool-Aid® pickles?

Wonder Gallery

jar of pickles_shutterstock_68144272Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to tempt your taste buds with a sweet and sour — and colorful! — treat? Grab a friend or family member, and head to the kitchen. It’s time to make Kool-Aid® pickles!

Popular in the South (especially the Mississippi Delta area), Kool-Aid® pickles — also called “Koolickles” — are a new take on an old favorite.

Check out this Kool-Aid® pickle recipe and make your own colorful sweet-and-sour Kool-Aid® pickles at home!

What Kool-Aid® flavor do you think will go best with the sour pickle flavor? Cherry? Fruit punch? Grape?

Be sure to email us a picture of your Kool-Aid® pickles and tell us how they taste. We can’t wait to see what they look like. We hope they’re tasty!

 

Still Wondering

In Illuminations’ Can You Picture It? lesson, learn how to collect data about favorite vegetables, record the data in a pictograph and then interpret the data.

 

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