One of our most popular sides are our fried pickles. Don’t get us wrong, we love fresh pickles. There’s nothing like the tangy, crisp crunch of a fresh pickle. You do know they are cucumbers, right? There are approximately 100 types of different cucumbers that can be found around the world. You would think that would mean a lot of pickles…
Yet, not all cucumbers are suited for pickling. Kirby and Persian cucumbers are the best varieties for pickles. Persian cucumbers feature a thinner skin and are small in size often called baby cucumbers. Tiny in comparison to an English cucumber (up to 1 foot long) which you would never pickle. In contrast Kirby cucumbers are known to be crunchy and firm. Then there is the gherkin which is a specific type of a tiny cucumber which is pickled and called gherkins. Cornichons are often used to garnish deviled eggs or served with sandwiches.
In the United States there are three main ways to prepare pickles, each of which provides a unique flavor and texture. Pickles are typically refrigerated, fresh-pack or processed. Some pickles are sweet, often called dill pickles, due to lots of the herb dill which is often used in pickling, not just for cucumbers. Other pickles are seasoned to be spicy or garlicky. You can buy whole pickles, pickle spears, sliced pickles and relish. Start paying attention and you might spot some individually packaged pickles for a true grab and go snack. But, there’s nothing like opening up a whole jar of pickles!
In other parts of the world other types of vegetables are also called pickles due to the preparation process. Pickled turnips with a bright pink hue are popular in the Middle East. In India, the word “Achaar” refers to all pickles and general condiment, how great is that? Have you ever tried pickled mango, a sweet-sour lemon pickle or a coconut pickle? There even are pickled meats, now that’s far out. Others pickle their vegetables in oil, just another preservation method. Here in the US, there are even Kool-Aid dyed pickles and pickled eggs which are popular in New England.
Let’s keep it real, crunchy pickles are great with fried chicken. Our chicken tenders are served with white bread and pickles, we got you. Our Half Dozen Wings, aka The Half Coward and our One Dozen Wings, aka the Full Coward also come with bread and pickles. What’s not to love? Add in an order of French fries and fried pickles and you have the trifecta!
As much as we love regular pickles we had to elevate the ordinary pickle into something really craveable and extraordinary. We wish we had invented the fried dill pickle but the popular side has a long history. Fried pickles have been enjoyed for decades in the United States, particularly in the South. The Duchess Drive In in Arkansas is the historical home of the fried pickle. Bernell “Fatman” Austin is credited for popularizing fried pickles. People have been enjoying fried pickles due to him since 1963. But, the year prior, the Oakland Tribune published an article with a recipe involving pancake mix and sweet pickle slices.
This may surprise you but Bernell’s recipe called for ketchup as the dipping sauce. Would you dip your Crimson Coward fried pickles in ketchup? Ours are served with ranch, let us know if you would dip your fried pickles in ketchup. Some of our other dipping sauces include Crimson Sauce, and honey. Fried pickles are also a staple at state and county fairs across America. Now is that before or after the fried Oreos and Twinkies?
It is pretty clear that the passion for the pickle goes deep regardless if they are battered and deep fried, served as a garnish on deviled eggs or on the side of your sandwich. Did you know there are pickle festivals all over the United States? The Lower East Side in New York has their very own Pickle Fest. North Carolina, Mississippi, Beverly Hills, Philadelphia, and Cleveland also celebrate the food with their own Pickle Fests.
The Rosendale International Pickle Festival is in its 24th year . This proves that the passion of the pickle goes far beyond the United States. Clearly, it doesn’t stop with frying pickles. There are even pickling competitions (ok we get that) and then there are pickle juice drinking contests! Yes, pickle juice. You can even buy a six pack of pickle juice or if you are channeling James Bond, try a pickle martini. For the fans that really can’t get enough there are several pickle eating contests where contestants are timed to see how many pounds of pickles they can consume. If that wasn’t enough there’s always pickle soap, how refreshing.
We can appreciate the global passion of the pickle but will stick to fresh and fried pickles. Our sliced pickles are dipped, lightly battered. and fried up fresh to order. Everything that you love about a pickle but dressed up Crimson Coward style. Thankfully, you can indulge in delicious fried pickles any day of the week at either of our Southern California locations, in Downey or Artesia, California.