Best Pickles
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More pickles than ever are being eaten each day, including new and innovative varieties-- from long, thin, flat cuts for stacking on sandwiches, to fiery Cajun-flavor ones for snacking. Practically every crunchy vegetable is now being pickled in several degrees of heat, sweet and sour.

Archeologists and anthropologists believe that pickling began in ancient Mesopotamia around 2400 BC.  As early as 1400, the English word Pikel meant "a spicy sauce or gravy served with meat or fowl". The middle Dutch word Pekel referred to “a solution for preserving and flavoring food”. In the modern English language, it was expanded to include brining for preservation, and also referring to the resulting products.

Believed to provide physical and spiritual strength, pickles were fed to the armies of Julius Caesar and Napoleon. Apparently, Cleopatra also ate large amounts of pickles to preserve her beauty.

Pickling isn't only about procedure, it is about tradition and community. Different cultures throughout the world pickled to preserve fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. During good harvest seasons and bad, pickling assured safety and extended the freshness of food. Whether pickles are sold from a pushcart or bought in a supermarket, the simple reason for their longlasting popularity is because they taste good.

 

Dill pickles

 

TYPES OF CUCUMBER PICKLES

Dill Pickles: This is the most popular variety of pickles, and includes:
Genuine Dills are "processed" by adding dill weed to the barrels during the last stage of fermentation. Their flavor is more concentrated and sour than other dill pickles.
Kosher Dills are made the same way as regular dills, but plenty of garlic is added to the brine towards the end. "Kosher dills" are not necessarily produced according to Kosher laws, but refers to a flavor profile.
Overnight Dills are fresh cucumbers that are brined in the refrigerator for only a few days. Bright green and crunchy, they taste fresher and less acidic.

Sour/Half Sour Pickles: These crispy and green pickles are refrigerated throughout the entire process.  Fresh cucumbers are placed in a non-vinegar brine; the longer they remain in that brine, the more sour they become.

Sweet Pickles:  Many parts of the US traditionally prefer sweet pickles made with a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and spices in the brine. Variations include:
Bread and Butter: Circle-cut cucumbers, onions, and chopped peppers cured in a sweet, tangy brine.
Candied: Pickles cured in a sweet syrupy brine.
Gherkins: Miniature dill or sweet pickles.


"On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally's cellar." 

               -Thomas Jefferson



The Fifty Best Pickles

 

 

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Comments and Suggestions:

 
Mon. October 6, 2014 5:45 PM - by: bernie Robart
i think burger kings pickles are the best. Does anyone know what kind they are?
 
 
Sat. October 4, 2014 11:31 PM - by: freedogg77
im trying to find these really good pickles I heard of from texas any suggestions
 
 
Wed. August 13, 2014 10:35 AM - by: Jeanette
We used to buy "other" cold pickles at the grocery store, but now after tasting Chill Dill's Original we don't like anything else! All of their varieties are super crispy & have a totally unique flavor. A must try for all pickle lovers!
 
 
Tue. August 12, 2014 2:21 PM - by: Amanda
Chill Dills are the absolutely best! Tampa is lucky to have em'!Yummmm!
 
 
Tue. November 12, 2013 7:10 PM - by: BC
You gotta try Grillo's Pickles! Fresh Pickles that are diamond grade in a natural brine. Both hot and italian dill will knock your socks off. Whole Foods carries them...tried them at the NYC pickle festival. Wow!
 
 
Mon. August 26, 2013 9:16 AM - by: Russ Harper
I believe the very best storebought dill pickle I have ever had is Gedney state fair norwiegan dills. I can't seem to find them lately
 
 
Mon. June 3, 2013 12:22 PM - by: Editor
Terrie, your daughter can try the A-1 Eastern Home-Made Pickle Co. They are the pickle supplier for Langer's and other great delis in L.A.
 
 
Thu. May 30, 2013 7:55 AM - by: terrie gomel
My N.Y. born daughter lives in L.A. and cannot find real sour pickles anywhre. Can you help her?
 
 
Mon. April 15, 2013 8:44 AM - by: Jenn
Fresh Crunch Pickles are awesome. They are based out of Washington, DC
 
 
Tue. April 17, 2012 4:33 AM - by: Glen Sussman
I can't believe you guys don't have Divine Brine on this list!! They won first prize for the best dill pickle at last year's International Pickle Festival at Rosendale, NY
 
 
Thu. March 3, 2011 11:48 AM - by: Jacquie
I agree with Payton...once you have Elman's pickles, there's no eating anything else! I love them and I am waiting patiently for them to be available in my town in British Columbia.
 
 
Thu. January 20, 2011 8:47 PM - by: Harold Callaway
Conscious Choice brands ...Francis Cowley/ Harolds 2x and 4x ..spicy gourmet pickles are as good as it gets!!!Who writes this list and how do we get them to taste.To Taste is To Beleive
 
 
Thu. November 25, 2010 8:32 AM - by: Payton
You obviously haven't tried Elman's pickles.
 
 


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