OPINION: Ranking the best types of pickles


Alex Cox

Illustration done by Alex Cox

Rose Donnelly, Commentary writer

As college students, our eating habits are… unique. Borderline strange at times. We eat whatever our meal plan or restricted grocery budget allows. 

Arguably, the humble pickle is the best snack for the cheap college student, whether paired with sandwiches or fried at county fairs. They go nicely on a cheeseburger or just by themselves. 

As a proud pickle connoisseur, I have come across many different flavors and brands of pickles, each with their own distinct taste and experience. Whenever you decide to join the pickle crusade, may this ranking help you pick the best pickle for your needs. 

#5 Mt. Olive: Sweet Gherkins

The only reason sweet gherkins made it on the list is that they are consistently good. If you like something a little more on the sweet side, these pickles are for you. A word of advice, don’t go overboard with these pickles. There is a fine line with sweet gherkins between just right and too much. 

Sweet gherkins are special occasion pickles. I don’t recommend eating these regularly as a snack. These pickles are meant to be savored and enjoyed irregularly to preserve the rich taste. 

#4 Oh Snap! Sassy Bites

You can find the Oh Snap! brand at P.O.D. or at a gas station. These pickles come in three flavors: dill, hot, and sweet. I know that the sweet or ‘Sassy Bites’ are the best flavor they have. 

Don’t get me wrong, the dill ones are a good snack if you’re in a pinch, but when given the option between those and the sweet ones, the sweet ones always win. Oh Snap! dropped the ball on their hot pickles. The lack of flavor and overpowering hot sensation of these pickles, leaves you quite unsatisfied. 

The Sassy Bites are a perfect snack to grab; they are bite-sized and ready to be devoured. They are a good range of tangy and sweet. They satisfy your pickle craving without leaving you wanting more. 

#3 Claussen: Kosher Dill Spears

These are hands down the best dill pickles on the market. Claussen’s are the perfect side pickle to any sandwich. They have an unbeatable crisp bite that is satisfying to all. 

If you’re wanting a go-to dill pickle, Claussen is the best choice. When you think of a perfect dill pickle, you are thinking of Claussen’s kosher dill spears without even realizing it. 

#2 Famous Dave’s: Signature Spicy Pickle Spears

I literally drool at the thought of these pickles. You have to be in the right mindset for these spicy spears. I go feral for Famous Dave’s spicy pickles.

Famous Dave’s spicy pickles are the perfect spicy pickle. They are beautifully seasoned. When you bite into them you get the initial kick, but are then left with a sweet tangy flavor. These pickles aren’t ranked as number one because they are only good in moderation. You can only eat a couple at a time before they lose their kick. 

#1 Kroger Brand: Bread and Butter Spears

Among the vast list of reasons why bread and butter pickles are ranked number one, the reason that trumps all is that they are perfect for any mood and meal. They aren’t overpoweringly sweet like the gherkins, but they aren’t too dill where they don’t have enough of a kick like the Claussens. 

Bread and butter pickles are the perfect combination of sweet and dill. They have a savory taste that leaves you wanting more. The balance between sweet and sour is immaculate. These pickles are without a doubt the best pickles you’ll ever have. I will die on this hill.

Honorable mention: Southern Lanes Bowling Alley pickles 

When I think of ordering pickles at a bowling alley, I am overcome with fear. My expectations for this pickle are nonexistent. The only criteria it needs to meet is the one of whether or not it’s edible. 

Southern Lanes’ pickles go above and beyond my wildest dreams. They are so plump and juicy. They have a slightly metallic, dare I say nostalgic taste to them.  These pickles are the go-to pick-me-up after a brutal bowling game. 

Final note: If you don’t eat pickles straight out of the jar, you don’t have the authority to say that I’m wrong.

Commentary writer Rose Donnelly can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @RoseDonnelly_