TNB Night Owl – Koolickles

Australian cucumbers, photo by Maksym Kozlenko

In 2019, a new trend began popping up on various recipe blogs and food sites: Koolickles. They’re simple, and they’re odd… sweetened dill pickles, providing an alternative sweet pickle option to traditional bread-and-butter style. They were not new, though; Huffington Post had written about them in 2017, and years before that people were posting videos on how to make them onto Youtube.

Their origin has been traced to the Mississippi delta, and they’re nothing more than pickled cucumbers soaked in Kool-aid until they’ve absorbed flavor. Whereas Kool-aid comes in a variety of flavors, red-colored powders seem to be the most commonly used.

As brine is a much better preservative than sugar water, one cannot immerse koolickles for the extended periods of time that one can store regular pickles, but they’re going to need at least a week to absorb enough of the drink to develop the bright colors that are associated with the treats. This means that the pickles need to be sliced prior to immersion in the kool-aid lest the cucumber skin be a barrier to soaking up the sweetened water. The length of time that the pickles are stored in the fluid will cause variations on the flavor profile, as osmosis shifts vinegar and salt out of the cucumber and sugars are brought in.

It’s a simple, albeit very odd, recipe that people can make for children who enjoy both pickles and flavored drinks, and it can also be a springboard for basic science experiments about, well, it depends on how old the child is… anything from color changes and absorption through cut vs uncut pickles to fluid transfer rates across a semipermeable membrane. And at the end, they can eat the science.

Question of the night: What kinds of pickle do you prefer?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.