May 15, 2003 9:16 PM   Subscribe

International Pickle Week begins this Friday, May 16, to celebrate and honor these brine-soaked morsels of goodness. It's the perfect excuse to over-indulge in your favorite pickles, whether they're bread & butters, half-sours, gherkins, or deep fried dills. As if Friday could get any tastier!
posted by catfood (23 comments total)
It's impossible to over-indulge in pickles.

Mmm... pickles.
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:25 PM on May 15, 2003

what ursus_comiter said.
one thing i find weird is that it looks like whoever posted (or maybe just typed) that deep-fried pickle recipe appears to be english (or at least spells 'centre' like an english person).
i knew the british were big on frying but i thought that deep-frying was more of an american thing.
or am i just being hopelessly provincial?
posted by dolface at 9:38 PM on May 15, 2003

i lerve pickles... so much so it pains me that i don't have a whacky or whimsical pickle anecdote to share on this most tasty occasion. instead all i can do is share my favourite way to eat them: preferably garlicky polskis, thinly sliced inside a grilled cheese sandwich, with even more pickle on the side. and now i take my leave of this thread and head off to the kitchen to make a late night pickle-y good snack. mmmm...
posted by t r a c y at 10:07 PM on May 15, 2003

t r a c y, that was beautiful. *sniff*
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:17 PM on May 15, 2003

oh do i ever wish i could find fried pickles in chicago. i'm too bad at frying to attempt them myself (cries of 'grease fire! grease fire!' punctuated any attempt i made at deep frying anything) but they are so delicious. if you have a sonic drive in near you, they started selling pickle-os again in january. i had them many times before i moved.

fuck, i love pickles.
posted by sugarfish at 10:24 PM on May 15, 2003

This is just a thinly veiled attempt at criticising bush..

Oh, not?

This is just another attempt to start an endless flamewar that isn't going to help anyone...

Not that either?

Ehm.. PickleFilter?
posted by fvw at 10:44 PM on May 15, 2003

how come I can't get no dill relish 'round here?

lately my preference is pickled peppers, I think I'm addicted to jalapenos...

also, how come I can't get no garum 'round here?
posted by dorian at 10:58 PM on May 15, 2003

What's garum? And where's Round Here? I do confess I enjoy a good pickle... but I'm shamed to say that I've never tried them fried. Growing up in England, I used to eat Branston's Pickle, which is sharp and vinegary, and turmericky. Nowdays, I'm confined to crappy American pickles, which are boring, boring, boring. Must go try Tracey's idea...
posted by jonson at 11:01 PM on May 15, 2003

Mmmm, pickles... back home my favourite brand was Gee Vee pickles (I've been trying to locate a web source for these marvellous things - no luck so far) and I'd eat them from the jar, spearing a fork in and sometimes getting two or three at a time if it was down to the dregs of the jar and there were only itty bitty baby pickles left. I'm not sure if they were referred to as pickles or gherkins... of course, try finding a definition for gherkin on the web without running into many an obscenity.

Just thinking about pickled food items is triggering the mouth-water effect - just like when I'm at work* and slightly hungry and my gaze happens to fall on the two tubs of vinegary goodness that is sliced dill pickles and banana peppers (or pepperoncinis or yellow peppers or whatever you want to call them), and I have to control the urge to just scoop up handfuls of the sodium-infused wonderfulness and gorge myself. The customers wouldn't understand, I'm sure.

Deep-fried pickles, however - that's just wrong. When I passed a Sonic one day and saw on the marquee "Deep-fried pickle-o's", I knew that a line had been drawn in the sand of my love for pickles that I could never, ever cross.

* I am a Sandwich Artist(tm). Wanna fight about it?
posted by sammy at 11:38 PM on May 15, 2003

What's garum?

Garum is fish guts. Emptied out onto a hot rock and left to putrify in the hot mediterranean sun for many long days. It was the favourite seasoning of the Romans. In fact, some archaeologists claim that, if you're lucky enough to dig up a partially intact amphora within which garum was stored, you can often still smell it.

Sounds bad I know, but can't be worse than lutefisk.
posted by bifter at 2:22 AM on May 16, 2003

How to make your own Real Pickles

1) Buy a bunch of organic pickleing cucumbers. You'll recognize them as looking like pickles smaller and knobby. Don't use normal cucumbers or they'll come out mushy although tasting fine. Organic is key so they have not been irradiated or sprayed which screws with the fermentation.

2) Place pickles in a mason or other jar that can be sealed. Fill with water.

3) Add 1 tablespoon of salt. If you have it, add 4 tablespoons of Whey .. this is the clear liquid that rises to the top of Yoghurt, or separates in whole raw milk .. it jump-starts the fermentation process with lactose bacteria. If you don't have Whey, just use extra salt.. the salt will draw out the natural bacteria already on the cucumber but may take a little longer in the fermentation process.

4) Optionally add mustard seeds and fresh dill and whatever else you can dream up.

5) Seal, shake well, leave at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, refrigerate and enjoy.

This traditional method (water and salt fermentation) has the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals and enzymes you won't find in store bought pickles that have been heat-treated and/or "pickled" using vinegar. It's like the difference between Budweiser and a Microbrew.
posted by stbalbach at 3:28 AM on May 16, 2003

Garum is great stuff it is basically fermented fish sauce that is very healthy and loaded with minerals and vitamins and enzymes and beneficial bacteria and tastes great. Actually we still use it today in the form of ketchup although it no longer contains fish sauce that's how ketchup was first made with tomatoes and fermented fish sauce (tomatoes being a new world food so after the Romans). vinegar is now used in ketchup for the sour taste but without any of the health benefits.
posted by stbalbach at 3:42 AM on May 16, 2003

Yeah dorian, Its one of my major beefs about Manhattan. Every store 20 brands(hyperbole) of sweet, indian, and hamburger (yuck) relish but not one single dill relish. There's just one lowly A&P mini mart on the Upper Westside that carries a tiny bottle of Velasic and I don't live near it anymore so I have to make a special trip for the stuff.
posted by Lex Tangible at 5:30 AM on May 16, 2003

Deep-fried pickles, however - that's just wrong. When I passed a Sonic one day and saw on the marquee "Deep-fried pickle-o's", I knew that a line had been drawn in the sand of my love for pickles that I could never, ever cross.

Eating fried pickles at Sonic is like eating fish sticks and deciding you don't like seafood. If you can find a place that serves some nicely lightly battered and fried spears (must be spears though, chips would be too much batter, not enough pickley goodness) then you'll be delighted by the crispiness and pickle flavor. Add some ranch dressing and you've got an appetizer fit for a king (or John Goodman anyways).
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:07 AM on May 16, 2003

I had my first deep fried pickle at a little shack of a place in New Orleans. I was a little trepidatious about it at first, having only eaten my pickles from a jar, but upon the first bite I cried out "holy shit, these are wonderful!" A beautiful older woman sitting on the porch in a long white skirt, total NOLA woman, smiled and said "Y'all ain't from 'round here, are ya?"

Mmmmmm, so hungry now!
posted by tr33hggr at 7:23 AM on May 16, 2003

I don't know, ever since reading UncleFez's comments in this thread I haven't been able to think about pickles in a kind way.

I mean ewh!!
posted by dirtylittlemonkey at 7:23 AM on May 16, 2003

I don't want a pickle
I just want to ride on my motorsickle
And I don't want a tickle
I'd rather ride on my motorsickle
And I don't want to die
I'd just rather ride on my motorcy
posted by billder at 7:47 AM on May 16, 2003

What do you guys do with your brine? I hate to pour it out onto the compost... anyone have a creatie use for it?
posted by FiveFrozenFish at 8:03 AM on May 16, 2003

Uh, I mean creative use...
posted by FiveFrozenFish at 8:03 AM on May 16, 2003

FFF - I had an girlfriend who used to drink the brine, but frankly it made me want to gag when she did. Needless to say, I am glad that relationship went down the shitter.

But, from this site:
Many people consider pickle brine a useful commodity, with its complex flavor of spices, salt, vinegar, and pickled vegetables. It’s been used as a soup stock, a hangover remedy, a drink, and—for many eastern European women—a cosmetic. There are even reports of some American roller-skating rinks selling pickle-brine snow cones.
posted by tr33hggr at 8:42 AM on May 16, 2003

mmm, branston pickle. the local a&p actually sells it (at ripoff prices), not to mention a friend is usually good for a few jars every time he goes home to ireland.

the international foodmart used to sell dill relish in their own store brand but I guess I was the only one buying it. also, damnable nyc, I'm still training myself to like garlic or half sour pickles but it hasn't been easy...dill is still the king.

the closest thing to garum or liquamen that can be had is nuoc mam although I would think it's not as strong since they don't usually use guts in making it.
posted by dorian at 9:10 AM on May 16, 2003

I used to miss the pickles I grew up with in Norway - but now we hit the local IKEA for our fix! Sweet & sour - sooooo good. Have turned everone around me on to them.

FFF - I make salad dressing w/the brine. Sour cream, brine, some finely chopped pickle, pepper, tarragon, thyme - season to taste. A little lemon juice if the brine is very sweet. Not everyone's cup of tea, but we love it.
posted by widdershins at 10:10 AM on May 16, 2003

the juice can also be used to help heal friction blisters.
posted by goddam at 10:49 AM on May 16, 2003

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