Making Koolickles

Tammy in Cuba, Alabama and I have been talking about Koolickles.

I had my first one at a Double Quick in Clarksdale, Mississippi back in November of 2006. It’s somehow become one of the most popular pics in my Flickr photostream (it’s #4 with 5000+ views, behind this wedding cake with 8000+, a Katrina sign with 6500+, and the Bryant store).

Koolickle - a Kool-Aid Pickle. A Delta Specialty.

They’ve been written about in the NY Times and USA Today, but I had never made a batch, and once Tammy and I started talking about them, I figured it was time to finally make some.

I wanted to make them the traditional way (with regular dill pickles) and I also came up with an idea to try to make them completely different – using bread and butter pickles. My thinking was that since bread & butters are already sweet, the addition of Kool-Aid would only make them sweeter and maybe even yummier. Well…

I used the same method for both batches. I drained off the pickle juice into a colander, threw away any of the big spices or garlic pieces that got caught in the colander, then added sugar and Kool-Aid to the pickle juice.

The regular dills had about 2 cups of juice inside, so I used two Kool-Aid packets of cherry flavor and added the sugar for those batches. The bread and butter pickles had only about 1 cup of pickle juice, so to that I added one packet of cherry K-A and one packet’s amount of sugar that’s suggested.

Is it sounding yucky yet? Pickle juice and Kool-Aid is probably not something you automatically think of tasting good together.

Each day for the past week, I’ve taken one pickle out and tested it for taste and color, etc. I think that they are ready right at one week. A strange thing happens – after about the third or fourth day, the pickles start to look like they are shrinking. The Kool-Aid color starts getting further and further into the ‘meat’ of the pickle, too. At one week, you can really taste the Kool-Aid flavor and it’s a Koolickle:

Making Koolickles

Making Koolickles

Now, they’re really not for everybody. Some people *really* like them and there are a lot of people who really-really do not. I can go either way. I think I’m just as happy with a regular pickle (Av is a pickle snob and will only eat Claussen or Wickles, but I’m not and think best ones are served at high school football games – taken out of those huge jars with a pair of tongs and put in a pocket of foil). But anyway…

…those bread and butter pickles turned out great! They’re sweet and cherry-flavored and actually very nice! The only thing is, what’s the best way to serve them? They’ll need to be drained pretty well because cherry Kool-Aid will stain just about anything.

Would deviled eggs with tiny cubed pieces of b&b Koolikle (like relish) taste good or not? Not sure. But just straight out of the jar – one or two of them – yum.

The Wickles pickles that I mentioned above – they were created by a couple of brothers in Dadeville, Alabama that we visited with once (they’re super-nice). They started a line of pickles that are sweet and hot…sooooo good.

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