Pickles With Sour Cream and Honey Are Chaotically Good

Yesterday, my sister Sydney tried to publicly shame me for an incident that took place over a decade ago in a Burbank Costco parking lot. I was young, hungry, and not properly satiated with various samples, so I tore open a block of Colby Jack I had just bought, took a big bite of it, and popped a strawberry in my mouth. For Sydney, it was both outrageous and rude, and she remembers it at every opportunity.

I have since learned that the rat in Ratatouille not only likes this combination of flavors, but also that it is a key scene in the movie (I haven’t seen the movie). This confirms what I already knew: I have an instinctive, natural taste for pairing, but it comes from a wild, chaotic place.

That’s probably why this pickled cucumber appetizer, which I saw on a beautifully designed Instagram account (eatsmallfood), I liked on a visceral level. The combination of super sour pickles, sour cream and honey is a bauble from Friends , and I’m her Joey. Pickles? Good. Milk products? Good. Honey? Good. (Unlike the little thing from ” Friends “, this is a snack I would serve to people.)

According to eatsmallfood, this combination is based on “a popular Finnish snack of gherkins, cream and honey.” A little Google search showed that there is also a Russian version with pickled cucumbers and sour cream (Russian smetana, similar to crème fraîche). Both versions seemed to match my chaotic energy and satisfy my craving for seemingly discordant combinations. And I was right.

For the marinade appetizer, I chose Trader Joe’s gherkins – a very aggressive marinade – with a little crème fraîche and the honey that was in the bear. I put the dairy products on a plate, made a small funnel with a spoon and poured honey into it. I blotted the pickles with excess brine, then tossed them with honey and sour cream, making sure there were enough on the tiny canned fritter.

Like most good, simple snacks (such as hard-boiled eggs with butter or honey-roasted peanuts with sweetcorn ), this combination was better than it could be. Honey and pickles may seem like contradictions, but there’s a whole genre of pickles (and zucchini) out there, and they’re good. This snack covers just about every flavor base—sweet, salty, sour, and fatty—and no flavor or texture lingers for too long. The sweet character makes it salty, the fat dulls the sting of the acid. It just works.

For my next marinade appetizer, I’m going to try sour cream and lactic acid pickles, just to compare and contrast. I could even substitute the brine itself and try pickled green tomatoes, cucumbers, or cauliflower. After all, I have a special pickle fridge full of pickles just waiting to be dipped in honey and sour cream.


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