Bread-and-Butter Pickles

Published July 1, 2007. From Cook's Illustrated.

Not just any crispy cuke will do.

Overview:

Many barbecue aficionados are quick to point out that a plate of smoky brisket isn’t complete without the sweet-and-sour tang and snappy crunch of bread-and-butter pickles. After topping our Barbecued Brisket with six brands, we learned that not just any crispy cuke will do.

Though some form of sweetener is essential for preserving and flavoring a bread-and-butter chip, many brands have opted to replace real sugar with cheaper high-fructose corn syrup. Five of the six pickle brands we sampled list this shelf-stable syrup as their second ingredient, which led to complaints about “artificial sweetness” and “syrupy” flavors. Our favorite is made with real sugar, and our tasters could tell the difference.

Many barbecue aficionados are quick to point out that a plate of smoky brisket isn’t complete without the sweet-and-sour tang and snappy crunch of bread-and-butter pickles. After topping our Barbecued Brisket with six brands, we learned that not just any crispy cuke will do.

Though some form of sweetener is essential for preserving and flavoring a bread-and-butter chip, many brands have opted to replace real sugar with cheaper high-fructose corn syrup. Five of the six pickle brands we sampled list this shelf-stable syrup as their second ingredient, which led to complaints about “artificial sweetness” and “syrupy” flavors. Our favorite is made with real sugar, and our tasters could tell the difference.

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