Pickle Fanatic? Michigan Produces More Pickles Than Any Other State
The Mitten never ceases to amaze me! Despite having been born and raised in West Michigan and having lived here the majority of my life, I'm always amazed at just how much I'm still discovering about my home state.
Upon recently learning that Michigan is the 3rd largest supplier of Christmas trees in the nation I also stumbled upon the fact that one of Michigan's most impressive exports is not in fact automobiles-- it's pickles!
Well, cucumbers to be more specific.
The Michigan History group on Facebook shared more on Michigan's pickle industry saying,
We're #1 - Michigan's more dominant in pickle packing than in auto making. Michigan factories build about one U.S. motor vehicle in four, but we pack one of every three pickles...Michigan's in a pickle and we love it!
According to the original post, both the climate and the sandy soil here in the Great Lakes State make this the perfect place for cucumbers to thrive. The State of Michigan says in 2016 alone 236,700 tons of pickling cucumbers were produced here; a value of $47 million!
In addition, Michigan produced 68 million pounds of cucumbers to supply fresh markets throughout the country.
How Are Pickles Made?
You may just be learning that pickles are in fact made with cucumbers. They're so easy to make that many people opt to make them in their own homes! Most recipes require a combination of spices, water, and vinegar to ferment the cucumbers and prevent spoilage. Easy as that!
While corporations like Kraft-Heinz operate the “world's largest pickle and vinegar processing plant" in Holland, there are many mom-and-pop brands that can be found on store shelves across the state.
Popular Michigan pickle brands include Freestone Pickle from Bangor, Bay City's Hausbeck Pickles, and Swanson Pickles in Ravenna. Vlasic even got its start in Detroit!