Picture: Claire Lower
According to eatsmallfood, the mix is based on a “popular Finish snack of gherkins, cream, and honey.” A little Googling revealed theres likewise a Russian variation with lacto-fermented cucumber pickles and smetana (Russian sour cream that resembles crème fraîche). Both variations seemed like they would match my disorderly energy and satisfy my craving for relatively dissonant pairings. And I was appropriate.
For my pickle snack, I went with the Trader Joes brand cornichons– an extremely aggressive pickle– with some crème fraîche and honey that was available in a bear. I dolloped the dairy onto a plate, made a little crater with a spoon, and sprinkled the honey into that crater. I blotted excess brine off the pickles, then swirled them through the honey and crème fraîche, making certain to get a lot of each onto the tiny maintained cuke.
Honey and pickles might appear like theyre in conflict, however there is an entire category of sweet cucumber (and zucchini) pickles, and they are good. For my next pickle snack, Im going to get some smetana and attempt and lactic acid pickles, simply to compare and contrast. I have a dedicated pickle refrigerator after all, full of pickles that are simply waiting to be dipped in honey and cultured cream
I have actually since learned that the rat from Ratatouille not just enjoys this specific flavor pairing, but that it is a crucial scene in the film (I have actually not seen the film). This validates what I already knew: I have an instinctual, natural ability for flavor pairings, but it comes from a feral, disorderly place.
For my pickle treat, I went with the Trader Joes brand cornichons– an extremely aggressive pickle– with some crème fraîche and honey that came in a bear. I blotted excess brine off the pickles, then swirled them through the honey and crème fraîche, making sure to get plenty of each onto the tiny preserved cuke.
Yesterday, my extremely own sis, Sydney, attempted to openly embarassment me for an incident that took place over a years ago in the Burbank Costco car park. I was young, starving, and had actually not been correctly satiated by the numerous samples, so I ripped open a block of just-purchased Colby jack, took a huge bite out it, and popped a strawberry in my mouth. To Sydney, this was both outrageous and rude, and she brings it up every possibility she gets.
Like many good, basic snacks (like buttered hard-boiled eggs, or honey roasted peanuts with sweet corn), this pairing was much better than it had any right to be. Honey and pickles might seem like theyre in dispute, however there is an entire genre of sweet cucumber (and zucchini) pickles, and they are great. This treat covers almost all of the flavor bases– sweet, salty, sour, and fatty play across your palate– and no one taste or texture remaining for too long. Sweet moods salty, fat dulls the sting of the acid. It simply works.
For my next pickle treat, Im going to get some smetana and attempt and lactic acid pickles, just to compare and contrast. I may even switch out the pickle itself and try a pickled green tomato, cucamelon, or cauliflower. I have a dedicated pickle fridge after all, filled with pickles that are just waiting to be dipped in honey and cultured cream
This is probably why this pickle snack, which I saw on a wonderfully curated Instagram account (eatsmallfood), appealed to me on a visceral level. The combination of very sour pickles, crème fraîche, and honey is the trifle from Friends, and I am its Joey. Pickles? Good. Cultured dairy? Great. Honey? Goooood. (Unlike the trifle from Friends, I would serve this snack to individuals.).