Pickle Popsicles Are A Tangy And Cool Way To Beat The Summer Heat

Pickles are the new black. From cocktails to cupcakes, the salty, briny flavor of dill pickles is popping up everywhere. And now the piquant bites are infiltrating the frozen confection market, giving good old ice cream sandwiches and snow cones a run for their money, and nudging grape, strawberry, and root beer popsicles aside. That's right. Pickle popsicles are a thing. Maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise. A couple of years ago, trend watchers began heralding pickles as the next big flavor. Items like pickle cotton candy, pickle potato chips, and pickle candy started popping up on grocery store shelves, so it wouldn't have been much of a stretch to assume the pickle craze would eventually hit the frozen food aisle. 

As far back as 2017, pickle powerhouse Van Holten's noticed a trend in the making. That's when the Wisconsin-based pickle company debuted Pickle-Ice. "It might sound weird to people up here, but if you are down south in Mississippi or Louisiana or Texas and you go to a kids' little league or soccer game, they will most likely be selling pickle popsicles made from frozen pickle juice in Dixie cups for 25 cents," Steve Byrnes, president of Van Holten's, told OnMilwaukee in 2018. It's true, makeshift pickle popsicles have long been a go-to summer snack in the southern United States.

Let your imagination run wild

That's particularly true at local sporting events. In Chattanooga, Tennessee, pickle juice frozen in a Dixie cup — aka Pickle Sickles — regularly sells out Warner Park, the local softball field. Randy Carpenter, owner of Family Concessions, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press he introduced the pucker-up pops as a way to recycle the pickle juice he had left over after selling pickles. The Pickle Sickle eventually became the park's best-selling frozen confection. And it's actually a relatively healthy snack. In fact, professional athletes often rely on pickle juice to rehydrate.

While a simple pickle popsicle is nothing more than frozen pickle juice, perhaps a pickle slice, and — maybe — a touch of sugar to create a sweet-and-tangy blend, the potential to experiment with flavors seems endless. A quick perusal of the pickle display at your local grocery store offers plenty of inspiration: full sour, half sour, dill, bread and butter, and hot, to name a few. But why stop there? Just about any brine will do, so go ahead and experiment with kimchi and sauerkraut. Already have a popsicle mold in your pantry? Good for you. If not, no need to worry. A simple paper cup will do the trick. Fill it about two-thirds of the way to the top. Cover each cup with aluminum foil. Cut a slit in the top of the foil, insert a popsicle stick, and freeze for three to four hours. When you're ready to sample your creation, just peel the cup from the frozen brine and enjoy.