Best Pickles Made Right Here In Louisville 2021

Habagardil From Pop’s Pepper Patch
Come to think of it, in my opinion, Habagardil pickles from Pop’s Pepper Patch might be as good as any pickle made anywhere. You might have seen them — along with Pop’s Red Pepper Jelly, chutneys, barbecue sauces, hot sauces, salsas, bloody mary mixers, salad dressings and other spicy goodies — at local farmer’s markets, at Lotsa Pasta, on sandwiches at Wild Eggs and via a few other discerning vendors. So what’s a habagardil and why is it so good? Other than being handmade with care locally, that funny name tells the story. It’s not Hungarian, and it’s not Turkish either. It spells out the key ingredients in the pickling blend: HABAnero, GARlic, and DILl … habagardil. Thick, ripple-cut rounds of fresh cucumber luxuriate in baths of tasty spices until they’re just right, then they’re packed in tall glass bottles that range in fire all the way from green, gently piquant mild through spicy, extreme, OMG, and 15x, 30x, 50x and, finally, to the bright-red, possibly radioactive, 100x hot. I’m the guy who calls for four or five peppers at Indian and Thai joints, but with Habagardli, just-plain spicy is plenty for me, I love the balance of heat, gentle sweetness and aromatic pickling flavors; trust me, even this blend packs enough punch to get my attention.

About the Author

Storyteller and seeker. Writer, editor, recovering metro journalist; playwright, poet, once a classical DJ. Hardcore food-and-drink geek, serious home cook. Seminary grad, part-time Episcopal preacher. Did I say eclectic? Deeply rooted Louisville native who’s lived in NYC, LA and the Bay Area; political junkie and unapologetic leftie. Covering the Louisville dining scene in print media since the 1980s, and doing it online since 1994.

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