Detail image of fried dill pickle chips.
Food - Drink
The Southern Drive-In Where Fried Pickles Found Fame
From chicken to ice cream, Americans love their fried food, and while fried pickles may sound strange, once you take your first bite, it all makes sense. With a crispy exterior and salty, dill pickle interior, fried pickles have quickly made their way onto menus across the country, but there’s one place in particular that gave this snack its start.
In the early ‘60s, a man by the name of Bernell “Fatman” Austin first invented the fried pickle at the Duchess Drive-In in Atkins, Arkansas. The restaurant was right across from the Atkins pickle factory at the time, and when Austin wondered how to cash in on the pickle, of course, the deep fryer was his first thought.
Although the Duchess Drive-In is no longer there, thankfully fried pickles are still going strong. You can even get fried pickles in their city of origin during Atkins’ annual Picklefest on the third weekend in May when they bring back the original recipe and hold competitions to see who can eat the most pickles and drink the most pickle juice.