HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Pickles---why?

I understand that, in the old days, pickled vegetables provided needed nutrition and variety during the long winter. But now that fresh vegetables are available all year round, we have a new pickling fad that seems to take up half the Williams-Sonoma catalog. Other than a dill wedge on a hot dog---I grew up in Chicago---I never seem to want one. Not a breakfast food, wine un-friendly for dinner, usually don't eat sandwiches for lunch. And sweet pickles are horrible. IMO. So let's hear from pickle-lovers: What kind do you like, when do you eat them, with what, am I missing out on something good?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Vinegar and salt, yum! And usually low calorie to boot.

    9 Replies
    1. re: coll

      It don't matter what diet you are on, you can crunch a Kosher Dill!!

      1. re: PotatoHouse

        nope, they absolutely kill an atkins diet. i know, no one does atkins any more, but you said any diet . . .

        i love dill pickles as a side, but not on my burger or sandwich, unless of course it is a peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich (but thats another thread). They make a tasty and refreshing snack, face it - who's going to sit down and eat a plain cucumber?

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          "nope, they absolutely kill an atkins diet. i know, no one does atkins any more, but you said any diet . ."

          You'll have to explain that because I have done Atkins and don't remember Kosher Dills being verboten.

          1. re: PotatoHouse

            Dill pickles are totally fine on Atkins. Sweet pickles, no, but who the hell would eat those anyway?

            1. re: biondanonima

              Yea, I'm a low carber and eat pickles all the time but never the sweet pickles.

            2. re: PotatoHouse

              fruits and vegetables in general are not permitted except in limited quantities. so yes, if you want your limited quantity of veg to be a pickle, then a sour or dill would work. and yes the newer version of atkins is more liberal toward fruits and vegetables. But a few years ago my hardcore atkins friends slammed me for eating a pickle as a snack. i decided it wasn't the diet for me

              1. re: KaimukiMan

                All of my jars say either 0 or <1 g carbs and don't have sugar on the ingredient list so we must be eating different pickles.

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  Your friend was wrong. Atkins is very salad and vegetable friendly, also low-carb fruits like tomato and avocado. And that's just the first week. Exactly how much you can eat later in the diet depends on your personal metabolism.

              2. re: KaimukiMan

                I'm not a big fan of pickles. I do however love a summer, homegrown cucumber with just a little salt. The hothouse cucumbers or the waxed ones from the store just are not the same.

          2. As coll said, they are a crispy, vinegary, salty snack for me that's better for me (low carby, too) than chips.

            If you're having a charcuterie/cold cut tray that's fatty, the bite of the pickle really is a nice bright accompaniment to the richness of the meat.

            I could eat good pickles 24/7, usually as is.

            1. Cornishons with pate - yum.

              1. Traditionally pickles were lactic acid fermented which is good for the digestive tract similar to how yogurt is also good for it.

                The vinegar pickle become the norm with modern food production and allowed products to be stored at room temperature and transported long distances.

                Why? They taste good and the fermented ones promote a healthy GI tract.

                1. Perhaps new to you (and W-S) but "gourmet" pickles of all kinds have been sold for decades. My local wine shop has been selling cheese and packaged gourmet items for many years. I recall first seeing Hogue Cellars pickled asparagus probably 20 years ago, followed by a number of other vegetables. There are numerous other gourmet "pickles" that have come and gone over the years.

                  And for a former Chicagoan, you've omitted the ubiquitous giardiniera, the often spicy pickled vegetable mix that's essential on a beef sandwich (similar to muffaletta topping, sans olives).

                  And sauerkraut, the other, other Chicago pickle, has been an ethnic staple for centuries and enhances any number of dishes (as do pickled beets).

                  The answer to your question is "because they taste good."