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What is a Pickle Sickle?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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A Pickle Sickle™ is exactly what it sounds like: a frozen food treat made from the juice of freshly squeezed pickles, mixed with their brine. The result is a savory, refreshing frozen food which might sound rather bizarre to people who are not acquainted with the delights of pickle brine, or to those who associate “frozen treat” with something sweet. The Pickle Sickle™ comes from Texas, a state where people happen to be extremely fond of pickle brine, and it is a natural extension of an already existing Texan treat, a shaved ice drizzled with pickle juice.

Pickle brine is a tart, flavorful liquid which many people reject once they've finished a container of pickles. However, some aficionados like to drink the brine, use it in mixed drinks, or add it to various recipes, harnessing the intense burst of tart flavor. For fans of pickle brine, this is a perfectly normal and in fact pleasurable activity, although many people find the concept of drinking pickle brine totally incomprehensible and even a bit revolting.

John Howard of Seguin, Texas, is responsible for packaging the Pickle Sickle™, also known as Bob's Pickle Pop™, and shipping it to pickle juice fans around the world. Pickle Sickles™ come in room temperature blister packs which are designed to be stuck in the freezer. After a night of freezing, the pickle juice inside has solidified into a form of popsicle, which can be squeezed out of the package. The end result is tart and briny, and it can be eaten alone or even as a palate cleanser between courses.

In hot weather, a Pickle Sickle™ can be quite enjoyable, as sweet frozen desserts often seem cloying in hot weather. The brine also helps the body resist dehydration, which can be a useful incidental side effect. Some dieters have also adopted the Pickle Sickle™ as a low fat snack food to eat when a food craving comes on.

Bob's Pickle Sickles™ claims that if you try a Pickle Sickle™, you might just like it. In addition to purchasing this interesting frozen treat, you can also make your own version at home, by juicing some pickles, mixing the juice with brine, and pouring it into a popsicle mold for freezing. After a night of freezing, your own pickle sickles will be ready to eat, and in addition to enjoying them as a snack, you can also make them a conversation piece at parties.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By runner101 — On Sep 21, 2011

I am a pickle lover, but I have not had a pickle sickle before. It sounds good. I haven't seen them in stores where I live, so I think I will just make some myself.

I have a sweet tooth, so I don't think I would replace my dessert for them, but it sounds like they would be a nice snack.

Really, I have heard of a lot stranger things that people eat than this. I can think of a lot of meats that sound strange to eat, and I am a meat-lover.

I don't like sweet pickles myself, but I wonder: has anyone used the sweet pickle brine and made some sweet pickle sickles?

By LisaLou — On Sep 21, 2011

A pickle sickle sounds like something two of my kids would love. They will eat any kind of pickle at any time of the day. One of my daughters grandfathers even gave her the nickname 'Pickles'.

This is something I have never heard of in my part of the country. Maybe I should see if I could order some and surprise them with this unique snack. I am curious to see if they would like it as much as I think they would.

I have a friend who doesn't want any kind of pickle touching any of her food. At a restaurant she always requests no pickles on her food or plate. If they forget and serve her food with any kind of pickle, she will always send it back.

Eating a pickle sickle would probably make her stomach turn just thinking about it.

By myharley — On Sep 20, 2011

It sounds like pickle sickles would go over well at our state fair. They are always trying to find unusual treats for people to buy.

They already have a few stands that sell giant pickles on a stick, but I don't think I have every seen any pickle sickles.

I can imagine doing this with a jar of sweet pickle juice, but I think it would be a stretch for dill pickles.

By KaBoom — On Sep 19, 2011

@starrynight - I'm a pickle hater myself. I especially hate when your meal comes with a pickle at a restaurant and the juice gets on the french fries. Gross.

However, this article is remind me that you could pretty much make a frozen treat out of anything that you could juice! One weird thing I really like is cranberry juice. And not the kind that's sweetened either! I think a cranberry juice pop would make a great dessert, but I've never seen anything like that in a store. Maybe I'll try it out!

By starrynight — On Sep 19, 2011

I know a lot of people love pickles, but I just hate them. Whenever my boyfriend and I go out to eat somewhere and my food comes with a pickle, I always give my pickle to him. He happens to love them! And actually, so does the rest of my family and almost everyone else I know.

I think a lot of people I know would love to try a pickle sickle. I'm not sure if they sell them in the stores around here. But then again, I don't think I would pay much attention if I saw something like this.

I'm going to keep an eye out for pickle sickles from now on and see if I can pick some up for my boyfriend. I know I won't like them, but my boyfriend loves to try new foods.

By bear78 — On Sep 19, 2011

@burcinc-- You may be right, but I have no idea why! We Americans love our pickles, it's one of the most popular foods in the country. I used to eat one everyday at school for a snack and I remember drinking pickle juice out of the pickle jar after the pickles were all gone at home. Knowing that the rest of my family is the same way, I think lost of Americans keep a jar of pickles around all the time and have tried pickle juice at least once.

John Howard is really smart for thinking of freezing the stuff and selling it. Maybe we're a bit reluctant to admit that we enjoy pickle juice right now, but I'm sure more and more people are going to start eating pickle sickle once we realize that it's okay!

By burcinc — On Sep 18, 2011

Pickle sickle is not an acquired taste in my opinion. I think people in the South have a taste for it in general. All my little cousins in Texas eat pickle sickle like kids have ice cream and candy elsewhere.

But whenever a friend of ours comes to visit us and tries a pickle sickle, they get the funniest look on their face and never want to try it again! I'm sure there are exceptions who are going to love it, but generally it's not liked much elsewhere.

By turquoise — On Sep 18, 2011

I've never had Texas pickle sickle, but I have had pickle brine drinks before when I was traveling abroad. There are even pickle shops in some countries that sell both pickles and pickle brine as a drink. I was at one shop where I was offered a small glass of cold cucumber pickle brine that was a little sour and a little spicy. It was a hot day and I actually enjoyed it a lot.

I think it's especially good when you get a craving for pickles and sour foods. I bet it's preferred in Texas for these reasons too. Plus, I've heard that we lose a lot of water and salt through sweat in hot weather. So it's good to have cool and salty drinks to make up for it.

If I go to Texas sometime, I'm definitely going to have some pickle sickle.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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