Why Are Sandwiches Served With A Pickle? The Reason Behind

Why are sandwiches served with a pickle? It should be a question raised in our head as it usually appears in our deli dish.  Anytime you order a chicken sandwich in the United States, you …

Why Are Sandwiches Served With A Pickle

Why are sandwiches served with a pickle? It should be a question raised in our head as it usually appears in our deli dish. 

Anytime you order a chicken sandwich in the United States, you will be served together with pickles. You will receive it as a side dish, or you will see a thin slice of it inside the cheeseburger with tomatoes and lettuce. You can even find a big piece of a crisp pickle when you order a Reuben too. 

Is it just a random choice of serving? There is a scientific explanation for why pickles and sandwiches perfectly complement each other’s tastes. Let’s find out!

Why Are Sandwiches Served With A Pickle?

Putting some slices of pickle on the sandwiches allows the acidity of vinegar used for preserving purposes to work as a palate cleanser. The sourness brightens the flavor and brings you the best taste of the sandwich. Whatever the toppings inside, this unique combination with sharp contrast in tang lets you fully enjoy your deli. 

I bet you have heard of people having some celery between dinner or drinking milk after a hot pepper meal. Eating something too strong for your taste buds may need a neutral drink or food to off set that flavor. Sour foodstuffs work the same way. That’s why the vinegar brine of pickles offers you a better experience of consuming your meal.

Why Does Everyone Put Pickles On Chicken Sandwiches?

As mentioned above, no matter what is included in your sandwich, this crunchy stuff is inevitable for the sake of good taste. So, it’s not strange to see it on your chicken sandwich. The acidity really helps to bring out the taste of meat and cheese topping. Even sometimes,  the brine juices are used to tenderize and marinate the meat.

Besides the fact that the sour bite balances the fattiness and richness of the meat, which enhances the dish’s flavor, the crunchy texture is also the reason why it’s there. The juicy meat and the melty cheese need the crispness of pickles to ensure a mouthwatering dish for you.

Dill Pickles

What Is The Kind Of Pickle Served With Sandwiches?

Now you know the reason for pairing sandwiches with a pickle. However, what kind of pickles to serve also can change your experience. 

You can see they usually use garlic dill pickles in New York delis. They are kept fermented in brine with bay leaf and mustard seed. The size of it may surprise you as the large ones are often chosen to come with your subways.

When you look at the color, you can say for sure they are not cooked. When the little cucumbers are fermented enough, they will be cut into big slices and served to you. 

Who Started Putting Pickles On Hamburgers?

This small dill cucumber has a long history traced back to the early 2400 BC when it was considered a rare and expensive food. The ancient Mesopotamians started to keep the cucumbers in the acid brine to prolong their shelf life, and the technique is preserved until now.

This delicacy came to the United States by Jewish people as they immigrated from eastern Europe to New York. By the 1930s, pickles grew popular, and many entrepreneurs became pickle vendors on the Lower East Side. The desire to exclusively possess the recipe of the sour sensation between vendors even created a “Pickle War”. 

The slight acidic base taste of the vinegar is suitable for it to become a palate cleanser. However, the specific details of who began this eating method are unknown, but the Jewish quickly spread it in their deli shops in the United States.

What Cheese Goes With Pickles?

People have found that cheddar cheese is the best match for a pickle sandwich. Cheddar has a naturally creamy texture that perfectly suits the pickles’ sweetness and saltiness, making it an ideal choice. 

The aged cheese with its buttery note is also considered to work well with the sourness of the brine. However, the main key to choosing the suitable one is based on its thickness. If the cheese has a “steak-like” structure, it’s definitely a good option. Cheddar or any thick, sharp, or creamy cheese will not disappoint you. 

How Do You Eat Pickles With A Sandwich?

There are ways to serve pickles with sandwiches, depending on the specific restaurant. It can be brought to you separately as a side dish next to your staple. You can choose to have it together with your sandwich or not.

The most common way is some slices of pickles placed together with other toppings inside your sandwich. How about the large pickle wrap outside other stuff? Do you want to experience your meal this way? Here is how you can do it.

  • Cut your large pickle into two halves. 
  • Place mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard on one half.
  • Next is the layer of any meat you want: ham, beef, chicken, turkey, or nuggets.
  • Put on top a slice of cheese and then some pieces of tomatoes.
  • Cover them with the other half of the pickle and enjoy.

Conclusion 

Why are sandwiches served with a pickle? Since pickles became popular in the United States and in New York specifically, the growing demand for including them with sandwiches makes up the most consumption of pickles. However, it’s not just the spread of a random trend. 

According to science, the acidity of the brine can absorb the overpowering flavors of the sandwich itself, letting you fully appreciate the flavor of your staple. That’s why when you order it from the menu next time, don’t forget to finish the side dish to experience the perfect combination in your mouth.