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Posted:  |  Updated: 08/31/12 10:48 AM ET

The Best Dill Pickle Brands: Our Taste Test Results

Whether you eat them straight out of the jar or wedged in a sub sandwich (or better yet, in a grilled cheese sandwich), there's nothing like a dill pickle for a zingy dose of flavor. We decided to put the major brands to the test to find out who makes the best dill pickle.

Sometimes they're called gherkins, but don't let that stop you -- gherkins, for all intents and purposes, are just another name for a cucumber. Technically speaking, gherkins are just a different type of fruit than cucumbers, but they're similar enough that it doesn't make a difference, in terms of flavor or snap.

That aside, our panel of taste testers tried out 11 different kinds of dill pickles -- we gathered brands that you can either find at your supermarket or order online (we had to include the popular Rick's Picks). Each pickle was judged on its texture (a nice snap and a firm crunch vs. a softer pickle) and flavor (mild, zesty, sour, herbal or salty). Only one brand came from the refrigerated aisle of the grocery store, while the others came from the store shelf -- check out how they compared below.

Despite all 11 brands being labeled as "dill," there was quite some disparity -- some tasted like bread and butter pickles, while others tasted like "Christmas." Flip through the slideshow below to find out which pickles came out on top.

As always, our taste test was not influenced or sponsored by the brands involved.

#1: Claussen Kosher Dill Spears (Highly Recommended)
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* Found in the refrigerated section

Comments:"Very crunchy, sweet and salty." "Tastes homemade." "Perfect balance of acidity and sweetness." "Sweet taste and very acidic." "Now this is a pickle!" "Clean tasting, with a crunchy texture. Very dill-like." "Tart, juicy and garlicky -- my favorite." "Tastes more like deli than dill."

Ingredients: Fresh cucumbers, water, salt, distilled vinegar, contains less than 2% of dried garlic, calcium chloride, sodium benzoate (to preserve flavor), spice, mustard seed, dried red peppers, natural flavor, polysorbate 80, oleoresin turmeric.
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Filed by Kristen Aiken  |