12 Types of Pickles: Mouthwatering Ones You Should Try

types of pickles

Did you know Julius Caesar believed that pickled cucumbers would make his soldiers tougher and more energetic? Pickles were even part of Cleopatra’s beauty regimen! This fermented goodness has clearly been around for centuries and continues to be popular today.

While cucumbers may be the more common ingredient used to make pickles, it isn’t the only vegetable that tastes great when pickled. Cuisines around the world have been pickling a variety of vegetables you may not even be aware of. Let’s take a look at the various types of pickles that are famous around the globe.

What’s A Pickle?


To put it simply, pickles are vegetables that are soaked in solutions like vinegar or brine.

Pickles has been around for quite some time, even getting mentioned as a preservative in the Bible and some of Shakespeare’s works. The word “pickle” is derived from the Dutch word “pekel,” which means salt or brine.

It is a delicacy that can be made with different vegetables and paired with different cuisines.

12 Different Types of Pickles

Pickles have a distinct taste. You may even find some of them a little weird. But they still pack quite the flavorful punch to your dishes. You’d be missing out if you didn’t explore the wide variety of pickles available.

#1. Sour (Or Half-Sour) Pickles


The variation between sour and half-sour pickles depends on the amount of time for which it is fermented. Half-sour pickles are, as the name suggests, pickles that have not reached the amount of sourness that sour pickles usually do.

They are usually made with cucumber and sometimes a little bit of added flavor, such as jalapenos or coriander seed. While sour pickles are soggy, you can still feel the crunch in half-sour pickles.

They pair well with hamburgers, salads, and can even be used in martinis and a Bloody Mary.

#2. (Kosher) Dill Pickles


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Leave your cucumbers to ferment in a solution with some dill herbs, and voila! You’ve got yourself some fresh dill pickle.

Kosher dill pickles, in particular, may seem like they refer to the Jewish dietary laws, but they’re not really made in accordance with them. Kosher pickles are made with a liberal addition of garlic and dill, with salt brine.

The result is a pickle that is quite versatile — you could use it to make your own dip or add it to soups, sandwiches, and even hummus.

#3. Bread and Butter Pickles

Butter Pickles

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Interestingly, the name of this pickle came into existence during the Great Depression, as these pickles were cheap staple foods used in bread and butter sandwiches.

Bread and butter pickle is made using cucumbers, a variety of spices, and pickling salt. It has a crisp texture and a flavor that is both sweet and tangy, making it the perfect toppings for burgers and sandwiches.

You can easily prepare this pickle at home as well.

#4. Gherkins


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Simply put, gherkins are small pickled cucumbers. The word “gherkin” comes from the Dutch words “gurken” or “augurken.” They are a crunchier pickle variety and are used in McDonald’s burgers.

You can even add sugar to your pickling brine to make sweet gherkins, as they’re quite tasty. Also, cornichons (tart French pickles) are made using gherkins that are pickled in vinegar and tarragon.

#5. Hungarian Pickles


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Instead of being pickled, Hungarian pickles are made by fermenting them under the sun. So, if you live in a place that has bright, sunny summers, you can try making Hungarian pickles.

You need to use bottled water while making them. Adding juniper berries, a few small dried red peppers, and some rye bread will make your pickle burst with flavor.

They’re great with Hungarian delicacies like Nokedli and Porkolt, along with other dishes like savory noodles, sausages, and other spicy meals.

#6. Polish or German Pickles

German Pickles

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You’ll find the Polish/ German pickle similar to the kosher dill pickle, but the seasoning is different. It was developed in central and eastern Europe, after having been brought into America by immigrants. It is now one of the country’s most preferred delicacies.

Despite the addition of bold spices like red pepper, black pepper, and mustard seeds to enhance the pickle’s oomph, the flavor of the fresh dill still comes through.

And if you’re nursing a terrible hangover, you can get rid of it the Polish way by eating Polish pickles. They rid your mouth of the alcohol aftertaste quite easily.

#7. Lime Pickles

Lime Pickles

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As the name suggests, these pickles are made with lime. They’re quite addictive; in fact, they were all the rage in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.

To balance out the incredible sourness of the lime, you can opt for thin-skinned lemons and remove the seeds. Most importantly, the bitterness of fenugreek seeds will balance out the pickle’s sourness.

It is a great addition to marinades, salads, sandwiches, and even many chicken dishes.

#8. Kool-Aid Pickles

Kool-Aid Pickles

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Koolickles or kool-aid pickles are cucumbers soaked in brine, sugar, and kool-aid. The color of the kool-aid seeps into the vegetable, so you’d end up with purple or red pickles.

These pickles are a burst of sweet, sour, and salty flavors. It’s definitely a hit among children, and you can easily buy variations of them in Walmart.

If you want the OG kool-aid pickles, pay a visit to any store in the Delta region.

#9. Onion Pickle

Onion Pickle

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Onions are incredibly versatile, so naturally, they can be pickled as well. The best part about pickled onions is that the flavor is quite tangy, without the typical pungent odor of onions.

You could even add dried red pepper for a dash of spice or some maple syrup to blend in some sweetness. They are the perfect sides for burgers, salads, tacos, nachos, and can even be used as salad dressings.

If you’re looking for a crispy, spicy-sweet condiment, onion pickles are the way to go.

#10. Tomato Pickle

Tomato Pickle

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Made using tomatoes, these pickles are originally a delicacy from the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. It is used as a staple alongside most breakfast and lunch meals.

It has a spicy, yet tangy flavor that can be used as the savory side to any dish. Not only does the pickle help with weight loss, but you also get the added benefits of antioxidants and good digestion.

You could also try your hand at making this simple spicy green tomato pickle at home.

#11. Indian Pickle

Indian Pickle

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Also called “Achar,” Indian pickles are created using several vegetables and fruits. They are pickled with Indian spices.

North Indians use mustard oil, while South Indians use sesame oil while pickling. If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, you may want to pair this pickle with rice and paratha, or even with naan and curries.

Usually, the likes of mango and ginger are extensively used in Indian pickles.

#12. Garlic Pickle

Garlic Pickle

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You can find different recipes for garlic pickles in both Indian and Iranian cuisine. In the latter, it is referred to as Torshi Seer.

The Torshi Seer is a compulsory staple that Iranians believe “complete” their dishes. Like wine, Torshi can be stored for years, and it gets better with time. Torshi is a derivative of the word “torsu,” which means “sour” in Kurdish.

It tastes like sweet tarts and can be paired with dishes from other cuisines as well!

A Few Parting Words

You can snack on them by themselves or use the different types of pickles as condiments. However, keep in mind that although pickles are low in calories, they do have a very high sodium content. So people with diets that exclude salt should avoid pickles.

But if you have no such dietary restrictions, go ahead and explore the various pickles. Happy pickling!

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