I’d do just about anything for the bit — and that includes eating a bright red pickle wrapped in a Fruit by the Foot, stuffed with Hot Cheetos, and topped with hot sauce. The chamoy pickle, which is going viral on TikTok (the hashtag #chamoypickle has over 53,000 posts and #chamoypicklekit has nearly 30,000), immediately caught my eye, and not just because of its striking hue. I am a committed pickle girl, so I immediately knew I had to get the questionable treat myself before passing judgment. It’s a way to satisfy my curiosity while also providing you, dear reader, the service of knowing if it’s worth the hype.
A TikTok Shop Staple
If you’ve felt inundated with sponsored content or calls to buy something from TikTok Shop lately, you’re not alone. TBH, the constant videos of people trying chamoy pickles and linking to the TikTok Shop is probably what got me so obsessed with the idea of trying one to begin with.
I typed “chamoy pickle kit” into the same search bar you use to find a video, user, or trending sound, and immediately the first few results were shoppable links. When you click over to the Shop tab, you can look through all of the options available. I went with the first result that popped up for me, from a seller called A Box You Can Count On which sells the kit for $16, but it’s almost always on sale, and I got it for $9.60 with free shipping.
What’s A Chamoy Pickle, Anyway?
Chamoy is a Mexican condiment made from pickled fruit. It can be in liquid form but is most often in a dark red, paste-like form. You’ve likely seen it served on fresh mango or pineapple or packaged alongside Tajín seasoning. It’s also often found in Mexican candy, where the spicy, sweet paste is mixed into sour or fruity gummies or suckers for an explosion of flavor. Chamoy is spicy, sweet, and a bit sour — the same flavor profile of a really good pickle, IMO.
No matter which kit you buy, the star of the show is a “Big Tex Dill Pickle In Chamoy” from a company called Alamo Candy, which is based in Texas and has specialized in American and Mexican candies since 1991. Though it’s unclear how the TikTok trend took off, it’s likely that since chamoy is often traditionally paired with candy and hot chips, pairing those things with a chamoy-flavored pickle makes some sense, too.
If you purchase a full-on kit, it typically comes with toppings including Fruit by the Foot (meant to wrap around the pickle), hot chips like Takis or Cheetos to stuff inside a hollowed-out pickle, and sour candies to make you pucker with every bite. My kit from A Box You Can Count On also had lollipops, Gushers, hot sauce, and sour candy powders. It even included a pair of disposable gloves to handle the pickle without dyeing your hands, which was both incredibly appreciated and mildly concerning.
Since this was a very scientific experiment, I decided to take one bite of the pickle on its own to have some sort of baseline control group before adding all of the various toppings. I know I like all of these things alone but together I wasn’t so sure. Though the pickle looked strange, I took a bite and it tasted like a plain, old half-sour pickle.
I took the pickle out of its bath of bright red liquid with two fingers before putting on my gloves so I could get it on a plate and make it easier to handle. Almost immediately, my fingers turned red, so yes, the gloves are necessary. In fact, maybe just scrub in Grey’s Anatomy style before consuming. When I read the ingredients on the back, it included vinegar, salt, red 40, and a few other artificial ingredients — no chamoy in sight despite the pickle’s label calling it a “Big Tex Dill Pickle In Chamoy.” All of the ingredients besides the coloring were pretty typical to pickles so it was basically just a red 40 pickle, which doesn’t sound appetizing when said so plainly.
Then I went ahead and did what I’d seen plenty of brave people do on my FYP before: I wrapped the pickle in a Fruit by the Foot and stuffed it with some hot chips and sour strips. And dare I say, it was kind of good? But good in the same way a toxic situationship is “good” — you know you’ll probably regret it later, but in the moment one taste won’t hurt. It was immediately chewy and fruity, then became soft and vinegary, then ended with some crunchy spice from the chips. I honestly wasn’t that mad about it, but that doesn’t mean I was proud. If it was with a normal pickle and not one that dyed my fingers red for a whole 24 hours, I would probably be a little bit less freaked out.
FWIW, after taking that single bite with all of the extras on top, I immediately threw the pickle out. My kitchen looked like a scene from a Tarantino movie with all of that red stuff all over the place. My mouth looked like Barry Keoghan’s in that Saltburn scene. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but when it comes to trying weird TikTok trends, I’m pretty sure I have nine lives. I can’t wait to see what weird concoction the FYP influences me to eat next.
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