Kool-Aid Pickles. Really.
My friend Jeff and I met in Iowa and first bonded over our New England roots. This means we have a deep, nostalgic love for Dunkin Donuts and other foodstuffs of the Northeast. I was intrigued when Jeff told me about his plans to try a recipe that hails from the Mississippi Delta. A native Iowan who had lived for a time in Mississippi introduced Jeff to the Kool-Aid pickle. “My reaction to the first bite,” claims Jeff, “was to shout ‘this is disgusting!’ Then I ate another 3 pickles.” Jeff used cherry Kool-Aid for his first attempt to recreate this southern delicacy. Based on the results, he’s already plotting an entire rainbow of pickles for his second batch. I must admit, the weird flavor is kind of addictive. Just try to get your brain to synthesize the flavor of dill pickles with artificial cherry: can you do it? I couldn’t, not until I actually tasted one. It tastes a bit like a bread-and-butter pickle, with a sort of sweet and sour tang, and an overtone of general fruitiness. There are lots of recipes online for these treats (just Google “Kool-Aid pickle recipe) as well as an interesting article in the New York Times from a few years ago.
I’m glad I tasted the pickles (and I did eat two of them), but I think this is one recipe I will leave to Jeff. Two Kool-Aid pickle makers may be a bit much for a small town like Ames.