UNITED STATES (WWTI) — November 14 is National Pickle Day, which gives all pickle lovers an excuse to enjoy the tart, sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy snack. The holiday has been celebrated for 70 years after beginning in 1949 with encouragement from the Pickle Packers Association.

According to the National Day Calendar website, the word “pickle” is derived from the Dutch word “Pekel” which means brine. Basic brine includes vinegar and water which is what pickles the fruit or vegetable jarred inside. Various amounts of sugar adjust the level of sweetness and different seasonings give the pickles their flavor.

The website also shared information on pickles and some historic facts. The first one the site shared was that 5,200,000 pounds of pickles are consumed each year in the United States.

Another fun fact the website shared was that the popularity of the pickle dates back thousands of years to 2030 B.C. Traders would import cucumbers from India to the Tigris Valley which is where people began preserving the vegetable creating the now well-known pickle.

Prominent figures from World history recognized the snack as well. Julius Caesar craved the benefits of pickles and believed the snack helped create physical and spiritual strength. For this reason, he fed pickles to his troops to instill the strengths within his soldiers. Cleopatra also believed in the positive benefits of pickles and attributed her good looks to her consumption of the snack.

Since then the snack has evolved in multiple ways. Pickles are served in various different forms including deep friend, on a stick, and more. More information on the holiday can be found on the National Day Calendar Website.