WRAL.com at the State Fair

Taste Test: Kool-Aid Pickles

Posted October 19, 2010 1:13 p.m. EDT

After my disasterous experience with a pickle and donuts, I wasn't eager to try the Kool-Aid pickles. But I got curious and tried them anyway.  And though they're not the worst thing I've ever had at the Fair, they're not the best either. They're just kind of... there.

I got my pickles at the 1853 Grille on restaurant row, but there are a few other vendors that are selling them as well (look inside the Kerr Scott Building and the Education/Commercial buildings.) Four orangey-red pickle spears (enough for a snack) ran me $3.

Apparently the Kool-Aid is cherry flavored. I poked around on the Web to get a recipe and found lots of stories about Kool-Aid Pickles (there are even brand names.) Slashfood has a recipe. If I had read these before I'd tried the pickle, I would have expected a very strong sweet flavor to be balanced out by periodic bursts of sourness from the pickle juice.

But it wasn't like that. The pickle tasted a little sweet, but not so much that its natural sourness was overcome. With some consideration I could tell the cherry flavor, but not well; the sweetness of the pickle was more generic.

Some recipes I looked at on the Web recommended letting the pickles marinate for a week. I'm wondering if these pickles got a long enough bath. The ones I got weren't overwhelming, but I was intrigued enough that I might try making them at home. I'll just have to keep them away from any donuts...