Originally, Eastern Europeans pickled foods to preserve them for consumption in the winter. But the flavor caught on and now foods are pickled year-round. Fruits, vegetables, meats and eggs are all fair game. Here are recipes for top Eastern European pickled foods.
Dill pickles are the pride of every Polish kitchen. Here is one variety, but they can be made in so many ways, even spicy.
The heat of the summer sun is what pickles these cukes. It takes about five days and then they can be stored refrigerated for up to two weeks.
George Pichl on Flickr
This sweet-and-sour pickle recipe calls for onion and green pepper, but red pepper can be used for a nice color contrast.
Since this magenta-colored delight isn't processed in a hot water bath, it's meant to be eaten within two weeks.
BlueberryFiles on Flickr
Once corn started to be cultivated in Europe, there was no looking back. It has worked its way into many recipes and Eastern Europeans, picklers extraordinaire, "put up" or canned fresh sweet corn to make the long, dark and cold winters not so miserable, and to remind them of the fresh vegetables they would have once the summer came.
Don't knock pickled fruit until you've tried it. These peaches are processed using the open-kettle method of canning and they can be stored in a cool, dry, dark place for enjoyment year-round.
Jules:Stonesoup on Flickr
Here's another pickled fruit recipe. The flavors need one month to develop, but then these can be served with savory or sweet items, goat cheese or whatever your imagination leads you to.
Carolina Victory on Flickr.
The piquant flavor of these pickled shrimp give them an extra kick. These would be perfect for any Eastern European meatless Christmas Eve dinner.
Choose small, young, blemish-free beets for this pickled beet recipe. This is another indispensable condiment on Polish tables year-round. Here are more beet recipes.