Pickled food has many advantages in today's lucrative gourmet food world. It's a very well known food because pickled foods have existed over millennia. Of course, the other main advantage is the durability of the product, which even with today's high tech fridges and storage products, is still a highly desirable quality. Another advantage is the distinct taste, hence some foods pickle better than others, and along with a fascinating history, subtle mentions in many old novels and literature, and the collectable nature of the food, pickles are, in fact, quite amazing.
Not all foods pickle well, the reason being the pickling itself affects flavour while some foods, due to their chemical composition can't keep, and thus can't possibly pickle. According to PBS, pickles are created by immersing fresh fruits or vegetables in an acidic liquid or saltwater brine until they significantly keep longer and are far less spoilable.
As pickles are ancient, they are very well known and some really commonplace/popular ones are onions, olives, jalapenos/chillis/peppers and pickled cabbage (sauerkraut). Dill pickles (gherkins) are my top choice, as they are very tasty and complement cheese and grains/nuts, but not only that, are traditional favourites and have immense popularity in their pickled states. Take the famous hamburger, for instance, a world culinary 'heavyweight' - what would it be without sliced pickles or in a more European (and Australian) term, gherkins? In terms of the origin of the word pickle, the name pickle itself is from the Dutch word for brine, pekel, as seen here at wiktionary and Wikipedia provides a list of pickled foods as well for added reference.
Some foods are known to be unlikely yet good for pickling. This amazing and fairly orthodox list from tasteofhome.com shows the auxiliary foods, aside from my 'heavyweights', so garlic, beets, radishes, leafy greens, orange peel, shrimp and eggs are some quite amazing things to buy or try or try making at home. The term pickle also accounts for many canned foods, as many canned foods are in fact pickles according to preppingplanet.com. There is a list by allrecipes about foods that you can pickle that may prove helpful if wanting to try pickling with unlikely and a comprehensive list of foods.
In terms of vitamin C loss and associated nutritional benefits as well as drawbacks, vitamin C is lost in many preserving processes, but fermenting pickles are considered good for gut health. It ought to be added that pickles are salted, and that's not a good thing, especially when combined with certain other products, for example, hamburgers and beer, so it's all dependent on things such as moderation and balance. When calling pickled foods fun, that is in terms of moderation and a balanced diet, along with their unique flavours making them fun on platters and snacks.
Pickles are incredibly durable, surprisingly versatile and fun to use for culinary creations or even try one's own pickling of varying durability and shelf life, so it's an interesting question to ask what's the best pickled food?