Whether it be at a deli, gastro-pub, or Guy Fieri chain restaurant, nothing blesses your meal more than a side pickle. It’s as if God placed an offering directly from Heaven’s pearly gates on your plate. To those who disagree with this culinary miracle, to thee I say: “shame!”
The most magical aspect of the side pickle is that you never really know when it will appear. Sure, if you go to a diner and order a gooey grilled cheese, more often than not, a side pickle will accompany it. But it’s those times when you’re not expecting a side pickle that makes it so extraordinary. You think you’re just getting a beigy sandwich and some fries, and then the waitress brings out your meal and voila! There it is like a beacon of hope: a stunning pop of green on your plate, the side pickle.
A forgotten dollar you find in a coat pocket, an unexpected snow day, a side pickle. No matter how many side pickles one has in their lifetime, each new side pickle feels like the first and you must treasure it like it's your last because side pickles are gifts from God.
Crisp, crunchy, delectably sour, and just like Britney—spears. We’re going to settle this once and for all: spear shape is superior. It’s the Goldilocks of pickle cuts: not too big and not too small. Also for the record, round slices of pickles are a mockery of the very idea of a side pickle—those are for topping sandwiches only. No self-respecting pickle aficionado wants to pick up teeny little pieces of pickle, they want substance.
A whole pickle, however, is an entirely different beast—it's too much. A whole pickle on the side is like asking for a hamburger and getting the entire cow served to you: yeah it’s what you wanted, but it’s too goddamn much. There are two schools of thought when approaching a whole side pickle: you can cut it yourself and have four spears. Or you just go for it.
A side pickle must not be wasted no matter the shape, it’s a gift from God.
When to eat the side pickle? My answer: anytime. You can eat a side pickle as an amuse-bouche. It’s an admirable start to any meal. You may also eat a side pickle as a palate cleanser in between bites of your food. In the aforementioned grilled cheese scenario, a side pickle would be a perfect burst of acid in between bites of a greasy grilled cheese and fries. The most controversial is, of course, eating your side pickle last: the dessert side pickle. Don’t knock it until you try it because after all, a side pickle, no matter when you eat it, is a gift from God.
I propose a world full of side pickles. From the finest French establishments to the best dim sum restaurants to every Armenian bakery, everything should come with a side pickle. When I get handed my iced coffee at Dunkin, I also want to be handed a side pickle. I don’t think this is too much to ask and I’m positive many, many people will agree with my stance.
Life is too short and unpredictable not to indulge in God’s greatest gift: the side pickle.