c/o Ava Becker

c/o Ava Becker

In a world as divisive as ours, I find it easiest to categorize people into two types: pickle lovers and pickle haters. This article is for everyone who falls into the former category, or those who appreciate a tangy, crunchy and deliciously complex fermented cucumber at any time of the day. That being said, our world bombards us with endless choices when it comes to pickles. Have you ever walked into Weshop and felt overwhelmed by the various options available to you? Fear not, I am here to help. 

I have now tasted all four brands of dill pickles available at our lovely campus grocery store, and will review them for you below. In terms of criteria, I am looking for a pickle with a strong crunch, a balance of both vinegar and salt, and a nice hint of dill, garlic, or some other spice. 

I began this endeavor by opening up a fresh jar of Vlasic Kosher Dill Baby Wholes. I will say that I did not love this shape because it reminded me more of a cornichon than a dill pickle, but luckily all the other aspects of this kosher dill are in line with a well-created batch of pickles. At first bite, a lovely crunch rang in my ears, and I tasted an adequately vinegary tang. The flavor is not particularly interesting; no pieces of dill float in the jar, and there is no unique spice…but that is the beauty of this pickle. It is not interesting, but it is reliable. A classic Vlasic. For me, this jar gets an 8/10.

Moving on to our next brand, Wickles Original Pickles, I could not have been more disappointed. I was hopeful about this jar. Wickles has a lovely dispersal of spicy red peppers and garlic, indicating a more flavorful creation than a basic kosher dill. The initial taste was one of the most upsetting flavors I could have imagined. The pickle was completely mushy, oddly sweet, and ultimately the sensation of this culinary experience would be best compared to eating a large spoonful of Heinz relish—but worse. To cite a fellow taster’s comments, “YUCK.” These were a definitive 0/10. Proceed with caution.

The next in the array of pickles were Mt. Olive Kosher Dill Spears. I expected an experience similar to that of the Vlasic, and I was especially excited about the spear shape (one of my favorite pickle forms). Unfortunately, this was a highly mediocre pickle. With hardly any crunch, and a slightly weird aftertaste, these spears were edible but nothing to phone home about. They are acceptable. Would I be mad if they were served as a side to a burger or sandwich? No. Would I eat these on their own and enjoy it? Also no. Mt. Olive is a 3/10. 

Last but certainly not least, we come to a uniquely trendy pickle. Enter: Grillo’s. They were by far the most expensive variety of pickles offered at Weshop, but arguably the most exciting. They come refrigerated, hinting at a freshness and artisanal prowess. To start with the positives, I think Grillo’s kosher dills have a fantastic crunch, and I love how the cucumber flavor still comes through more than the other available brands. It is easy to eat too many of these (although can one really eat too many pickles?). On the flip side, I do think they would be even better if they were slightly saltier. Despite their great dill and vinegar flavor, Grillo’s lack a traditional saltiness that I prefer in a kosher dill. Nonetheless, I give Grillo’s an almost perfect 9/10, and I do think they are worth the extra dining points.

As all of you pickle lovers go forth in your culinary explorations, I hope this serves as a helpful guide for what is available to us in our lovely Weshop. 


Ava Becker can be reached at abecker@wesleyan.edu.