Bread and Butter Pickles
Bread and Butter Pickles
© Denzil Green
Bread and Butter Pickles are pickles made from smaller cucumbers (about 1 1/2 inches / 3 cm wide), sliced thinly cross-cut wise 1/8 - 1/4 inch (3 to 6 mm) thick.
The pickle slices are shiny green in colour, sometimes with a tinge of yellow. They should be crunchy in texture, with a very sweet taste, which ideally should be balanced with a tangy tartness.
They are popular in hamburgers. They are also used inside sandwiches, or served as sides with sandwiches, or as additions to relish trays. They are used as ingredients in dishes such as potato or other bound salads.
The cucumber slices are pickled in a mixture of sugar and vinegar (there are now some sugar-free varieties.) Seasoning in the pickling mix can include celery seed, mustard seed, turmeric, etc. In contrast, other sweet pickle recipes tend to use spices such as cinnamon, cloves and allspice, and will use more sugar.
To make Bread and Butter Pickles, the pickles are sliced and mixed with pickling salt (some recipes will add sliced onion at this stage.) The slices are let sit for a few hours or overnight to allow the salt to draw moisture out of the slices.
Some recipes have you then discard the juice drawn out, and rinse the salt off the slices; other recipes don't have you do this.
Other ingredients (vinegar, sugar, seasonings) are then added and the mixture is brought just to a boil. The pickles and the liquid are then bottled, then the bottles are processed hot.
Bread and Butter Pickles do not require a long aging time before they can be eaten.
The hot-processed jars are shelf-stable for storage. There are also some "refrigerator" versions of Bread and Butter Pickles that skip the hot water processing; these must be stored all the time in the fridge.
The slices are sometimes referred to as "pickle chips." Commercial slices are often cut wavy, though Mrs Fannings, the original brand, are not.
Yum Yum Pickles are very similar to Bread and Butter Pickles; Yum Yum Pickle recipes, however, call for twice the sugar that Bread and Butter Pickle recipes do.
Fannings Logo. Trademark filed
09/26/1923 by Omar A. Fanning
"TWIN CITY PEOPLE in Other Cities. Mr. and Mrs. Omar Fanning were here from Streator Thursday, calling on relatives. Mr Fanning will go east today to close a deal with a large corporation for the sale of his pickle business in Streator. Among all the former Sterling people who have succeeded unusually well in other places, Mr. Fanning's success has been unique. He engaged in the business of raising cucumbers at Streator a number of years ago, and gradually developed a pickle business in order to use the small cucumbers that had been a waste product of his greenhouses. In time the pickle business became the main business and his products have met with immense sales all over the United States. A business regarded as in the millionaire class thus grew out of the thrift that prompted Mr. Fanning to make use of the waste product, and it is said that an old receipt for making pickles that had been in his family for two or three generations had quite a lot to do with the popularity of the "Bread and Butter" pickles which he originated and put on the market." -- Sterling Daily Gazette. Sterling, Illinois. 11 June 1926. Page 2.
Davenport Democrat And Leader.
Davenport, Iowa. 15 May 1925. Page 6.
"Our Lunch and Picnic Specials Chicken-a-la-king: chicken salad, welsh rarebit, baked ham. cheese, brick, pimentoes, mild and Old New York: potato chips, sweet pickles and the famous bread and butter pickles in jars..." -- Ad placed by the Ideal Grocery Store. 419 East Market Street, Logansport, Indiana. In the Logansport Press. 9 July 1925. Page 8.
"Pickles - Fanning's Bread and Butter Pickles. You will like these on any occasion, per jar. 45 C." -- Ad placed by the Brady Street Basket grocery store. Davenport Democrat and Leader. Davenport, Indiana. 17 July 1925. Page 15.
"LUNCHEON PICKLES -- Old fashion bread and butter pickles. Per jar. 30 C" -- Ad placed by Hamilton's Market. The Lincoln Star. Lincoln, Nebraska. 11 September 1925. Page 10.
"BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES - You don't know what you are missing if you have not tried them. Jar. 41 C" -- Ad placed by Freadrich Bros. Master Grocers. The Lincoln Star. Lincoln, Nebraska. 23 October 1925. Page 15.
"BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES. New shipment and the fastest selling pickle on the market. There's a reason. Per jar. 45 C" -- Ad placed by Service Groceries. Lincoln Star. Lincoln, Nebraska. 30 October 1925. Page 14.
"BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES. A delicious pickle so very much different than the ordinary bought pickles, jar at 41 C." -- Ad placed by Freadrich Bros. Master Grocers. The Lincoln Star. Lincoln, Nebraska. 30 April 1926. Page 16.
"Bread and Butter Pickles. A delicious sweet-sour cucumber pickle with that real cucumber flavor. Per Jar, 29 C" -- Ad placed by Mutual Grocery Store. Oakland Tribune. Oakland, California. 9 July 1926. Page 14.
"BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES — Fanning's the original and genuine. Specially priced at 39C per jar." -- -- Ad placed by the Brady Street Basket grocery store. Davenport Democrat and Leader. Davenport, Indiana. 30 July 1926.
Literature & Lore
Gold, Amanda. Taster's Choice: Bread & butter pickles. San Francisco, California: San Francisco Chronicle. 17 May 2009.
O'Neill, Molly. Bread-and-Butter Pickles Recipe. New York Times. 24 October 2009.
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