Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Popcorn — that's how that old tongue-twister goes, right? OK, maybe not. But thanks to Trader Joe's briniest item on its extensive lineup of snack foods there might just be the need for an updated riddle. Move over caramel corn, a saltier snack is here to claim the spotlight: in case you didn't already know about it, or need some reminding now that summer is here, Trader Joe's Popcorn in a Pickle is the perfect side dish for the upcoming barbecue season.
Yes, Trader Joe's has had this offering around for awhile, but the magic of Instagram is bringing it back into the limelight so we don't all make a mistake and sleep on it this summer. Michigan-based Instagrammer JunkFoodMom, who documents her interesting supermarket snack finds, recently posted about the snack and put it back on the internet's radar. She posted a photo of the large bag, and a handful of popcorn displayed in the foreground. Her accompanying caption reads: "TJ's popcorn with the 'bite and tang of dill pickles.' I’m not a huge fan of pickle flavored snacks but found this strangely addicting. Dill oil is used to make these perfectly picklelicious."
If you're on the fence about tasting, perhaps JunkFoodMom's assessment will sway you. If not, maybe you'll be enticed by the darling anthropomorphic pickle displayed on the bag. The little leaf even looks vaguely like a hat.
If there is one thing hipster grocer extraordinaire Trader Joe's has mastered, it is combining flavors in unexpected ways — and making it work beautifully. In fact, Bustle has rounded up a whole slew of unexpected Trader Joe's combos that sound sketchy, but are actually delicious, from the Roasted Garlic & Onion Jam to the Mashed Cauliflower.
And pickle fans, fear not: although the TJ's offering isn't new, there are in fact countless pickle-flavored edibles to add to your summer lineup.
Van Holten's Pickle Ice Freeze Pops are perhaps the most pickly option, aside, of course, from a pickle. The pops are made from the same juice Van Holten uses to make its pickles. But, additional electrolytes are added to these for performance-enhancing and recovery purposes. As it turns out, pickle juice is kind of an underrated health elixir. As the pickle ice freeze pop description on Amazon explains, pickle juice "is known to be loaded with essential minerals and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium that your body needs to perform at its peak."
Feeling too hot to chew this summer? Drink your pickles (and maybe add a little booze to them) with the help of artisan brine. Brine is the culinary term for VERY salty water. According to Food52, the solution was originally used to preserve meat in an era when refrigeration was less reliable, leaving fresh food (particularly meat) more at a higher risk of rotting and becoming contaminated. At present, it is mainly used in the United States for less pragmatic, and more flavorful, reasons. Brining meat, for instance, is thought to make it more flavorful and tender (like corned beef). But, perhaps its greatest association is with pickles. Gordy's Fine Brine is the perfect addition to any salty summer cocktail.
Pickles, it would appear, are taking over the snack table this summer. Almost every food you can think of is being reinvented with a pickly twist. If you're tired of cloyingly sweet summer sips, and bored of classic snacks, be a little adventurous in the coming months and add some add some pickle to your repertoire. It goes without saying the options aren't limited to the vegetable.
In the meantime, let this either be your PSA or reminder that Popcorn in a Pickle is available at Trader Joe's, and your taste buds deserve it.