Dill Effects

The last few times I've gone to the supermarket, I've bought Central Market's "Herb Garden Spring Mix" instead of lettuce for our salads. It contains a wide variety of greens and a few different herbs, but the most distinctive flavor of the mix comes from bits of fresh dill. And every time I take a bite of a sandwich or salad with that mix, I immediately start thinking about dill pickles, past and present.

My Grandma Siegmund's homemade dill pickles were the gold standard, the best I've ever eaten. When we'd go visit her at Walnut Bend, and later in Gainesville, she'd serve them at lunch and dinner, and I thought they went with everything. The fresh dill flavor was heavenly, and it created a permanent imprint on my brain, a small detail that evokes big memories.

It's also a reminder of the sad current state of commercially-produced dill pickles, which seem to have no other purpose than as a delivery mechanism for salt. The jar of "hamburger dill chips" in our refrigerator represents the common breed: nowhere on the ingredients label is dill listed. I suppose it's included somewhere in the "natural flavors" that brings up the tail end of the list.

I understand that making good dill pickles is a time-consuming process, and that there's little profit incentive for anyone to scale up the old-fashioned homemade approach, but count me as one of those who'd gladly pay more for the experience.

On the other hand, let's not get carried away and suggest that I learn to make my own. That's just crazy talk.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on August 18, 2011 7:04 AM.

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