Cucumbers

Half Sour Pickles by Ba-Tampte

Half sour pickles are not my favorite. They’re usually far too salty for my taste, but that’s just the way they’re cured. There isn’t any vinegar in these pickles, just a LOT of garlic and other spices. The pickles had a great crunch, but I expected half sours to have a greener color. I suspect that these were a lot older than half sours usually are. These were also VERY salty. My assistant sampler liked the saltiness but claimed that they left a weird aftertaste. I have to agree. If you suffer from high blood pressure, you probably want to avoid these.

Ingredients: Cucumber, Garlic, Salt, Water, Spices

Kosher Dill Petites by Mt. Olive

These were not good. There’s FAR less of a garlic flavor to these than they regular Kosher dills. The gherkin size cucumbers are cute, but they don’t have a great crunch. They’re pretty soggy. You get a lot of them, but they just taste too salty to bother finishing them. I like the idea of the “portable pickle” more than I like the execution. The packaging claims that 1 serving of these (the entire cup) has 0 calories, but I imagine that the amount of sodium you get with these far outweighs any health benefits from getting 0 calories.

Ingredients: Cucumbers, Water, Vinegar, Salt, 0.1% Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Alum, Calcium Chloride, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Polysorbate 80, And FD&C Yellow #5.

Kosher Dill Spears by Mt. Olive

I’ve been spending more time reading ingredient labels lately, in an attempt to cut down on the amount of artificial ingredients I eat, and after reading some of the ingredients for these, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be purchasing Mt. Olive products. Does it strike anyone else as odd that these pickles need both “Natural” and “Artificial” flavors added? The spears are generally very crunchy, and larger than most of the other spears I’ve seen in the market. The flavor is good overall, with the right amount of garlic, but the Mt. Olive web page claims that the kosher spears have “garlic flavoring added”, and that creeps me out a little. Are they using real garlic or some mysterious garlic-like chemical? Also the brine ends up having a very odd yellow/green hue, that just doesn’t look natural. I’m guessing it’s because of the FD&C Yellow 5 they add in? They’re not a bad pickle in a pinch.

Ingredients: Cucumbers, Water, Vinegar, Salt, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Calcium Chloride, 0.1% Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural Flavor and Artificial Flavor, Polysorbate 80, and FD&C Yellow 5.

Sour Pickle by Van Holten

As a kid, my mother would bring me food shopping with her a lot.  When we would get to the deli counter, I would BEG until she got me a sour pickle from the giant glass jars stacked along the shelves.  This pickle are very similar in flavor and brought me right back to my childhood.  It’s nice and sour, with an excellent vinegar flavor.  The crunch is still very nice despite being packed in single serving plastic bags.  While not nearly as sour as I remember them to be, they’re still nice and sour and I look forward to getting more of these.

Ingredients: Cucumber, Water, Sald, Vinegar, Natural Flavoring, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (to prevent spoilage), Calcium Chloride, Alum, Polysorbate 80 and Yellow #5.

Wickles by Sims Foods

These pickles are simply excellent, and hopefully I remember where I bought them so I can make sure to have a constant supply in my refrigerator.  The cucumbers themselves are a bit softer than I usually like in a pickle, but the brine makes me forget any complaints I had.  It’s sweet, it’s sour and it’s hot and definitely pickle flavored and generally not overpowering despite the fact that there are several hot peppers floating alongside the cucumbers.  My tasting assistant did have a valid complaint, that you can’t eat as many of these as you’d like and I have to agree.  It usually takes 4 or 5 slices before the heat really kicks in, but it’s well worth it.

Ingredients: Cucumbers, sugar, vinegar, cider vinegar, dehydrated garlic, dehydrated pepper, calciun chloride, alum, natural flavors, garlic oil, polysorbate 80, yellow 5. 


Fickle Pickles Original Recipe by The Carousel Kitchen

These pickles were brought to us by our pickle elves and came all the way from Texas.  Quite frankly, these are the best pickles we’ve had so far, and we’re already planning on ordering more.  The pickles are sliced, and they are “sweet, crunchy, and spicy” as advertised.  The brine perfectly balanced vinegar and sugar and is extremely sweet and tasty. I’m going to try using it as a marinade for chicken when the pickles are gone.  My taster was also very impressed by the unique flavor of these pickles.  There is definitely a little bit of heat to these, but not enough to overwhelm the great flavor of the pickle itself.

Ingredients: Cucumbers, sugar, vinegar, red pepper, salt, preservative, sodium benzoate.

 

Zesty Dill Pickle by Van Holten

This was probably the largest pickle I’ve had so far.  It’s vinegary, it’s salty, it’s crunchy, it’s everything that a pickle in a bag should be.  The brine is excellent, but an odd shade of green.  My pickle tasting assistant enjoys these much more than the Sour Pickle by Van Holten, but I’m not completely convinced.  This is the kind of pickle I look for on a hut summer day. Or a cold winter night, or a cool fall evening, or a rainy spring day.  Oh wait.

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