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Though Americans consume 5.2 million pounds of them annually, most of the ones we buy in the grocery store are canned in a jar; nothing like the fresh sweet-and-sour homemade delicacy we used to enjoy. \n\nPickling cucumbers started thousands of years ago with an overabundance of fresh cucumbers in Egyptian gardens (legend has it that Cleopatra attributed her good looks to a hearty pickle diet), and Americans adopted the tradition in earnest in 1659, when Dutch farmers living in Brooklyn sold their cucumber surplus in brining liquid to various farmers' market stalls in Manhattan. \n\nThough pickle purists argue that true and traditional pickles are made without vinegar (they are instead naturally fermented through lactic acid fermentation), there's nothing as easy and refreshing as a \"quick pickle,\" made in a brining liquid of vinegar, sugar, and salt, and created to mimic the traditional fermented taste. 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