We're not going to sugar-coat this: we love pickles and if you don't, we're just not meant to be. We love to make pickles. We love to eat pickles. We love just thinking about pickles. There's something special that happens to vegetables, especially cucumbers, when you let them ferment in salt and their own juices, or brine them in vinegar. We love pickles of all shapes and sizes, flavors and colors, textures and varieties. Let's make this perfectly clear: there are no bad pickles. But there are better and worse pickles.
With that in mind, we give you the best pickles, ranked in order from worst to best. We stuck to cucumber pickles on this one, because discussing the merits of pickled green tomatoes, pickled green beans, pickled okra, etc. would have taken eternity.
10. Kool-Aid Pickles
Yeah, guys. People really do this to pickles. Like I said, no such thing as a bad pickle, but there are better ways.
9. Bread & Butter Pickles
Pickles are a sour food. Stop trying to muck this up with sugar. If you want dessert, go eat dessert.
8. Hamburger Dill Chips
Come on, admit it -- you've eaten a few of these right out of the jar. We all have. They are tiny, parcels of salty, sour, ersatz savoriness. They are not natural, but they are delicious.
7. New Pickles
If you love pickles, but have never had a new pickle, you should correct that ASAP. New pickles are brined in saltwater, just like full and half-sour pickles, but not allowed to ferment, which means they are basically salty, crunchy cucumbers.
These tiny French pickles pack a whole cucumber's flavor into one tiny bite. Do not eat pâté without them.
5. Horseradish Pickles
Guys, I am a nice Jewish girl. Pickles and horseradish are basically two of my major food groups. Combine them? A pickle for the ages.
4. Kosher Dill (Deli Pickles)
This is the pickle we are all most familiar with. Is it a great pickle? Not really. Is it the perfect complement to a grilled cheese sandwich? Definitely.
3. Spicy Sour Pickles
You know they're good when they make your mouth pucker and spontaneously combust.
2. Half Sour Pickles
These fermented pickles are just sour enough to taste like a pickle, while still also tasting like a cucumber. They are almost perfect.
1. Full Sour Pickles
They should be so sour that they make you scrunch up your face. They should be dark olive all the way through. The full sour pickle is the full expression of how good a pickle can be. If you disagree, you are wrong. SORRY, NOT SORRY.
Also on HuffPost:
Pickled Carrots With Dill And Serrano
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.kitchenkonfidence.com/2012/03/pickled-carrots-with-dill-and-serrano/" target="_hplink">Pickled Carrots with Dill and Serrano recipe</a> by Kitchen Konfidence</strong> This pickled carrot recipe is made with garlic, dill seed, fennel seed, sliced serrano chile and fresh, fragrant dill
Bread And Butter Pickle
<strong>Get the <a href="http://catesworldkitchen.com/2012/07/bread-and-butter-refrigerator-pickles/" target="_hplink">Bread and Butter Pickle recipe</a> by Cate's World Kitchen</strong> If you're a fan of bread and butter pickles, just wait till you taste them when they're homemade. They are delicious.
Quick (And Spicy) Pickles
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.10thkitchen.com/2012/07/quick-and-spicy-pickles/" target="_hplink">Quick (and Spicy) Pickles recipe</a> by 10th Kitchen</strong> This quick dill pepper recipe introduces a little hit of spice with the addition of crushed red pepper flakes.
Mint Pickled Strawberries
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.snixykitchen.com/2012/07/18/mint-pickled-strawberries/" target="_hplink">Mint Pickled Strawberries recipe</a> by Snixy Kitchen</strong> You won't come across pickled strawberries often, but when you do you're in for a real treat.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.ecurry.com/blog/condiments-dips-and-sauces/sirke-wali-pyaaz-pickled-onions-the-indian-restaurant-way/" target="_hplink">Pickled Onions recipe</a> by eCurry</strong> In India, they serve these small pickled red onions at restaurants for snacking on. They're sour, but addictive.
Pickled Leek Cabbage
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.theintentionalminimalist.com/2012/04/pickled-leek-cabbage.html" target="_hplink">Pickled Leek Cabbage recipe</a> by The Intentional Minimalist</strong> Leeks add a sweet oniony flavor to cabbage in this pickle recipe. And the chile peppers give it a nice zing.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/home-made-pickles-recipe" target="_hplink">Homemade Pickles recipe</a> by Souvlaki For The Soul</strong> Whole dill pickles are quite a treat -- and the best part is the ingredient list is short and simple.
Homemade Spicy Pickled Jalapenos
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.queenofquinoa.me/2012/07/homemade-dill-pickles-spicy-pickled-jalapenos/" target="_hplink">Homemade Spicy Pickled Jalapenos recipe</a> by Queen of Quinoa</strong> Why would you buy pickled jalapenos when making them is just so easy? And the taste is phenomenal.
Quickly Pickled Veggies
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.elephantineblog.com/2012/03/quickly-pickled-veggies.html" target="_hplink">Quickly Pickled Veggies recipe</a> by Elephantine</strong> Red onions impart a beautiful pink color when pickled, making this cucumber and onion combination an appetizing sight.
WATCH: How To Pickle Pickles