The newest wrinkle in pickles? Spice.
Hot-and-spicy pickles were once something you could get just from small, boutique pickle makers, or maybe your grandma’s kitchen if you were lucky enough to have a pickle-making grandma.
But the success of the spicy pickles from companies like Wickles has helped bring a new breed of pickle to the market. These new-school spicy pickles marry the traditional flavor of a dill or sweet pickle with the zing of chiles or hot sauce.
To me, they’re way more interesting than regular old pickled cucumbers, with an extra dimension of flavor but no more fat or sodium than regular pickles. Try them on po’ boys, muffalettas, or any old hamburger or sandwich, or mix them into potato salad or tuna salad. You can even use them in place of olives in a dirty martini or instead of pickled green beans in a Bloody Mary. Or, save the juice and swig it as a “pickle back” – the term for a pickle-juice chaser to a shot of whiskey, becoming popular in some trendy bars.
We’re all about the spicy pickle at FRESH. Some of our favorites you should try:
Wickles Pickles: The name is a mashup of “wickedly delicious” and pickle, and this brand is one that really helped get the spicy pickle bandwagon rolling a few years ago. Their basic slices are an addictive combination of sweet and spicy, with a gentle heat and a nice crunch. Try the relish, too, with the same flavor profile but a fine texture that works especially well on hot dogs and bratwursts, or mixed into your favorite egg salad recipe.
Cherith Valley: This Texas-based maker of pickles and condiments has introduced a thick-sliced, “hot n spicy” dill pickle. The slices are super-thick, so they look (and taste) like homemade.
Tabasco Spicy Dill with Garlic: From the makers of world-famous Tabasco sauce come these dill pickle slices. The heat comes from, of course, Tabasco hot-pepper sauce, plus a generous helping of minced garlic.
Rick’s Picks Hotties: Here, the heat comes from habanero chiles and Sriracha sauce, the vaguely Asian chile sauce.