Is price a big dill? How to celebrate pickles without breaking your bank

By Isabella Davitt
Staff Writer

Illustrations by Bella Bogdanski

Get ready for National Pickle Day! On November 14 join the craze and eat a pickle. Although the origins are unknown, the day is largely celebrated by organizations such as Pickle Packers International, an association that supports pickling companies.

Pickles are a staple for any sandwich, burger, salad, or just right from the jar as a snack, but recently they have grown in popularity. According to U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), “241.44 million Americans consumed pickles in 2019. This figure was projected to increase to 250.72 million in 2023.”

As a fan of pickles, I went around the Burlington area to farmers’ markets, delis, and grocery stores to try and find the “best pickles”. The selection is vast; cucumbers, onions, peppers, radishes, beans, okra, and more. Not to mention the variety of shapes pickled cucumbers can come in; sandwich, hamburger dill chip, cornichons, kosher dill, half sour and full sour, spicy pickles.

At the Burlington Farmers Market, two vendors had a large selection of pickled items. Sobremesa, of Marshfield, Vermont, offered kimchi, sauerkraut, dilly beans, “pure pickles,” which are traditionally fermented without vinegar, and more.

Farmer Sue, of Bakersfield, Vermont, also had a wide variety of pickles. Bread and butter, classic dill, dilly beans, dilly peas, white cucumber dill, pickled hot peppers, pickled jalapeno peppers, dill green tomatoes, and more but the prices were higher than average, at $7 for a 16 ounce jar.

For a more gourmet pickle, and if spice is your forte, try Wickles Pickles. Made and founded in Dadeville, Alabama, Wickles can be found at most grocery stores in Vermont. Wickles offer two flavors of pickled items; original dill and “dirty dill,” which is fiery and sour, a unique and unexpected flavor for a pickle. Wickles also offers dill okra and a wide selection of relishes. Wickles Pickles are $4.95 for a 16 ounce jar and $5.95 for a 24 ounce jar.

At your local grocery store, you can find an array of classic pickles. Choose Vlasic, for a classic sour-dill pickle. Claussen, for a perfectly crisp and crunchy pickle. Or Mt. Olive, for a sweet bread and butter pickle.

The best pickle in town can be found at Kountry Kart Deli. Commonly known as “KKD,” the deli on Main Street is open 21 hours a day, from 6:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. KKD is a hot spot for late-night food and great lunch sandwiches. Their menu features a whole pickle. “They’re actually pretty popular, I think we sell about 100 or so a week,” said a KKD employee. For just $1.25, you can get an entire pickled cucumber. For me, it is the best dill in town.