Pet Peeve #11: The Delusion of Bread and Butter Pickles

Think about the first time you went to the store as an adult to buy pickles.

No, I take that back–think about the first time that I went to the store as an adult to buy pickles.

You approach the pickle aisle thinking that this will be easy. You’ll just get the kind of pickles you’ve enjoyed your whole life. The good kind. You don’t know their name, because really, how many pickle varieties could there be?

Then you get to the aisle and find tons of pickles. Way more than you had foreseen.

You scan the varieties of pickles, trying to figure out which one is the kind that you’ve eaten in small doses your entire life. Remember, this is your first pickle purchase as an adult. This means that if you want to, you can go home and eat the entire jar of pickles. Mom isn’t going to tell you to put those pickles down.

Finally your eyes settle on a promising canister. “Bread and Butter Pickles,” it reads. I love bread, you think. And I love butter. Bread and butter pickles must be amazing!

So you buy the biggest jar they’ve got. You rush home, pull out a pickle, and take a huge bite out of it.

What the hell? you think. This pickle sucks!

It’s true. Bread and butter pickles are pretty disgusting. The pickle you were searching for is a dill pickle. “Dill” simply isn’t as enticing as “bread and butter.” It’s like when the Vikings named the tiny wonderful island “Iceland” and the big terrible island “Greenland” to get people to go to the bad one so they could have the good one to themselves. Same theory here.

There’s gotta be a better name than “dill” to steer first-time pickle buyers to the right variety. What’s better than bread and butter? Not much. Any suggestions?

Daily Quickie: If you haven’t taken the full survey from yesterday, please take 3 minutes of your time. I guarantee that you’ve never been asked at least half these questions.

23 Responses to “Pet Peeve #11: The Delusion of Bread and Butter Pickles”

  1. T-Mac says:

    How about tirimisu pickles? Jello-wrestling pickles? Monday night football pickles? Picnic pickles…enough from me.

  2. Christine says:

    That sounds a lot like my first (and only) time buying pickles. I was overwhelmed and clueless. I did actually get dill pickles, but they were still disappointing. I guess there’s a large discrepancy between brands. After complaining to a pickle-loving friend she had VERY strong opinions on which brands to buy. Unfortunately, I don’t remember anymore and I never did bother to go buy another jar of pickles…

  3. John Aughey says:

    There are also sweet pickles which are equally disappointing. Dill pickles are the only ones that are edible. Nothing is better than a great sandwich with a dill pickle.

  4. Katie says:

    Bread and butter pickles are truly awful, but my dad likes them, so we kept a jar in the house in addition to a jar of dill pickles. After ruining one too many sandwiches with bread and butter pickles, I became much more careful about which jar I grabbed!

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      So your dad is the target market for the bread and butter pickles? I just figured that the b&b market was sustained by first-time pickle buyers like me.

  5. Georgia says:

    How do you know if the pickle manufacturer wasn’t taking a cue from the vikings who named Iceland and Greenland? What if they labeled them Bread and Butter pickles so people would eat those instead of the ones they wanted to hoard for themselves? It’s an elaborate scheme, but essentially they sell the Bread and Butter to keep their business open. This way they have a pickle factory all to themselves and they can have all the good Dill pickles they want. If you want really good pickles I suggest you apply at one of these factories. Its a well kept secret…until now.

  6. Ariel says:

    kosher dill pickles. only way to go. best when consumed on the sidewalk outside a kosher deli on a tiny street in new york in about 80 degree heat while wearing jean shorts, a tank top and flip flops.

  7. margot says:

    HA HA The pickles this house always bought – when pickles were bought (which was only for the Stegmaier reunion) was bread and butter pickles. It was also the pickle my mother made. After reading recipes for ‘what to do with too many cucumbers in the garden recipe’, you understand why bread and butter pickles were invented (is that the right word?). Bread and Butter pickles are easier to make than dill pickles. However for me, I prefer neither pickle.

  8. Megan says:

    Claussen’s are the best. They taste like homemade and are crisp.

  9. John Aughey says:

    Wow, almost two years ago to the day since this was written. Today I was at the CSC for their beginning-of-school BBQ. They had a big jar of pickles and I love dill pickles. I grabbed a handful (I used a fork, not my actual hand – though I was tempted because those things are hard to fish out with a little plastic fork). Got to my seat, mouth watering with anticipation of that dill pickle. !!!!!! Elach!! Butter Pickles! This blog entry was the first thing to come to mind.

  10. […] With that one line, the mystery was no more. It wasn’t a case of mistaken identity between me and renowned pickle photographer Jamey Steggoomer…no, it was a misunderstanding about my use of a random Google Image on this blog entry. […]

  11. Josh says:

    NON SWEET Tangy

  12. Shonda Burrage says:

    I wish I can return these bread and butter pickles back to the store after opening them. It seems like they taste ruin…. almost like sweaty mildew socks! Let me check Walmart return policy! I just seen the Vlasic stacker jar and thought I was grabbing the right one! I was getting excited to eat one and then my face turned into the Grinch, literally!!…

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