The 4 Most Delicious Pickles Known to Man
Until about ten years ago, there were four kinds of pickles—dill, sweet, bread-and-butter, and sour—and about as many brands.
Then, through the same mysterious culinary force that’s recently gotten people excited about slow cookers and sheet-pan dinners, at-home pickling became a thing. Your hipsterest friend threw a pickling party. Portlandia did the “We can pickle that!” sketch.
Now? There are as many different brands of pickles on your grocery store’s shelves as there are brands of potato chips—or even nut butters. (People are even drinking pickle juice.)
As part of our Men’s Health Best Foods for Men series, we tested 22 jars, from the indies to Vlasic and Claussen, and these are the winners.
(Nutrition note: Pickles are basically a zero-calorie food. We didn’t list the nutrition numbers for each product because, honestly, there’s little difference. If you’re counting pickle calories, stop doing that.)
Best Cucumber (Dill): Grillo’s Pickles Italian Dill Spears
“Bright, crunchy, fresh, and tangy,” according to one of our tasters, these thick, crisp wedges hit all the pickle high points. Grillo’s packs its cucumbers with fresh garlic and grape leaves, both of which lend a slight bite. Make these your go-to snacking pickle.
Find them at: Whole Foods, Target, or Instacart
Best Cucumber (Not Dill): Crisp & Co. Sweet Ginger Pickles
These fat disks taste like a mash-up of sushi ginger and bread-and-butter pickles. Admittedly, they’re not for everyone, but if you like your pickles “sweet, crunchy, with a good bite,” as one of our tasters reported, you’ll want at least one jar.
Find them at: Whole Foods, Wegmans, or Instacart
Best Spicy: McClure’s Pickles Spicy Spears
Potent pickle. “The heat comes on fast and then doesn’t let up,” one taster said. Blame the half a habanero packed into each jar. You can eat these straight up (masochist), but they’re almost better suited for a Bloody Mary or chopped into tuna-fish salad to help temper the burn.
Find them at: Walmart, Whole Foods, Target, or Amazon
Best Wild Card: Talk O’ Texas Crisp Okra Pickles
I’m not a fan of okra, but these are surprisingly good,” a taster said. They’re tart and tangy and have a twang similar to that of green tomatoes or vinegar-based barbecue sauce. “They’ll definitely make your face pucker in joy,” another taster wrote, “if you’re into that kind of thing.”
Find them at: Walmart or Amazon
The Most Divisive Pickle: Bubbies Kosher Dill
You’re either a Bubbies zealot or you’re deeply offended by their mere presence on the table. That’s likely because these pickles contain no vinegar and are fermented naturally. This imbues them with a “musty/funk (in a good way)” flavor, as one taster put it. If you love farmhouse ales, sauerkraut, or ripened cheese, Bubbies has got your back. Buy them here.
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