The po­lar­is­ing condi­ment is be­com­ing kind of a big dill

ELLE (Australia) - - Contents -

Our ode to the most po­lar­is­ing condi­ment.

There are two types of peo­ple in this world: those who would hap­pily slurp on a pickle juice slushie, and those for whom that would con­sti­tute a very bad time. But it’s not just your farm-to-ta­ble-preach­ing friend who falls into the former: Pin­ter­est saves for pickle recipes are up 114 per cent since this time last year, and mar­ket re­search com­pany Tech­navio has es­ti­mated that the global pickle mar­ket will be worth $17 bil­lion by 2020.

While the flavour is turn­ing up ev­ery­where – in potato chips, vodka, ice­blocks, beer and the afore­men­tioned slushie (a cre­ation of Amer­i­can fast-food chain Sonic Drive-in) – pick­led cu­cum­bers and gherkins (a minia­ture va­ri­ety of cu­cum­bers) are in­creas­ingly find­ing their way onto menus as a stand­alone dish, and the in­car­na­tions are un­lim­ited – whether pick­led tra­di­tion­ally in vine­gar, in­fused with wild flavours, deep fried or dipped in sauces.

Ac­cord­ing to Uber Eats, Mel­bur­ni­ans binge on pick­les the most, fol­lowed by those in Syd­ney (where But­ter’s tangy ver­sion are a crowd fave on the food delivery plat­form), Ade­laide (ditto The Fly­ing Fig Deli’s take), Perth and Bris­bane (where gas­tro pub Hop & Pickle’s beer bat­tered pick­les with red pep­per jam and aioli are the city’s most-or­dered) . “Pick­les cer­tainly have that ‘vegemite’ el­e­ment – you ei­ther love or hate them,” says Hop & Pickle’s owner Adam Mcwhin­nie. “Some­times they fly out, some­times they are a tough sell, but we have reg­u­lars who will or­der them ev­ery time.”

For Alex El­liott-how­ery, co-owner of Syd­ney in­sti­tu­tion Corner­smith Cafe & Pick­lery, and au­thor of the cook­book, Corner­smith: Sal­ads & Pick­les ($39.99, Murdoch Books), the ob­ses­sion for all things pick­led goes back to child­hood, when she used to eat pick­led onions out of the jar. She says she now does the same with pick­led cu­cum­bers or gherkins most days, af­ter a break­fast that in­volves them, “thinly sliced with good-qual­ity cheese on toasted rye”.

Yet to be con­verted? She be­lieves in­cor­po­rat­ing them, thinly sliced, into a creamy potato salad with lots of herbs, is the gamechanger, as the pota­toes and cream bal­ance the acid­ity. Those who prefer baby steps should try her hack for an in­spired tip­ple. “I of­ten put a slice of pickle in a mar­tini,” says El­liott-how­ery. “It’s an ex­cel­lent al­ter­na­tive to an olive.” Bot­toms up.


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