Kicking the pickle

1949: Ruth Brand "kicked off" National Pickle Week. And apparently that's a genuine giant pickle in the photos, not a fake one.

"Harry Conley of the Green Bay Food company, who is president of the National Pickle Packers association, officiates in Chicago at the 'kickoff' of the national pickle week campaign. Pickle week will be held May 20 to 28. Kicking the world's largest pickle is Ruth Brand, Chicago."

Lancaster Intelligencer Journal - Feb 11, 1949

But what is this about Amerigo Vespucci being a pickle dealer? I'd never heard this before.

Some research reveals that the claim traces back to a remark made by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his book English Traits:

Strange, that the New World should have no better luck,— that broad America must wear the name of a thief. Amerigo Vespucci, the pickle-dealer at Seville, who went out, in 1499, a subaltern with Hojeda, and whose highest naval rank was boatswain's mate in an expedition that never sailed, managed in this lying world to supplant Columbus, and baptize half the earth with his own dishonest name.

Smithsonian magazine investigated the claim and doesn't think it's very likely. Vespucci did work for a while as a ship chandler, and in this capacity it's possible he may have supplied some ships with pickled foods. But to go from this to calling him a pickle dealer is a bit of a stretch.
     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 29, 2023
     Category: Food | Pickles | 1940s

Most likely that's a fake pickle. According to Guinness, the largest cucumber was a shade over 3.5 feet.
Posted by ges on 01/29/23 at 09:47 AM
Boy Madonna would be jealous of those pointy tits, but he really seems to enjoy them.
Posted by F.U.D in Stockholm on 01/29/23 at 09:50 AM
It's because she built her pecs way up by lugging that pickle around.

You wouldn't want to play hide the pickle with that one.

Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 01/29/23 at 10:37 AM
Top photo is obviously a prop -- the skin is all wrong for any type of vegetable.

I wonder how narrow the definition of 'pickle' is. Does it have to be a cucumber? I ask because it's common for people to cut up a watermelon before pickling it, but if you had a big enough crock . . .
Posted by Phideaux on 01/29/23 at 11:22 AM
“Kicking the pickle” sounds like some kind of naughty euphemism.
Posted by Brian on 01/30/23 at 08:36 AM
He's also smiling because he's getting ready to do a 'Lucy vs Charlie Brown' with her, and she's going on her keister.

Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 01/30/23 at 03:13 PM
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