You are likely either a pickle lover or a hater.
Those who love pickles tend to enjoy them in a variety of ways and with a variety of meals.
A pickle can be a perfect complement to a great sandwich, or it can go well with a hamburger.
However you choose to eat your pickles is fine, but did you know there are many different types of pickles?
Even though your grocery store may have a few choices, there are more than ten types of pickles on the market.
Knowing your options can open your eyes to even more fantastic options for your next meal.
15 Types Of Pickles
1. Traditional Dill Pickle
We wanted to start with the most popular pickle on the market, and that is the genuine dill pickle.
If there is such thing as a classic pickle, this is it.
Dill pickles are made from whole cucumbers, but the secret ingredient is dill seeds.
When the pickles are made, and the jar is closed, there are plenty of dill seeds in there to help give these pickles their well-known flavor.
Most of the time, dill pickles come in those long slices that are so perfect for putting on a sandwich.
You will notice that the cucumber has likely been cut lengthwise to get the pickle to fit in the jar and to fit perfectly on your food.
As we go through this list, you will learn that there are many different types of pickles and pickling methods.
Sometimes the way a pickle is made is going to reflect the way it tastes much better than the type of cucumber you are dealing with.
The dill pickles go through the traditional pickling method that you would use if you tried to make pickles at home.
The vinegar is what cures the pickles, and the dill is what will flavor them.
The overall method of making a dill pickle is one of the simpler options on the market.
If you are new to the world of pickles, the traditional dill is the place to start.
2. Full Sour Kosher Dill Pickles
Kosher dill pickles are a bit different than the traditional dill pickles.
Finding kosher pickles is quite common, and the interesting thing about these pickles is that they have quite a long history.
The fact that something is a kosher food means that the Jewish dietary laws allow a Jewish person to eat the food.
Jewish people who are very strict about their religion sometimes only eat Kosher foods while others will eat Kosher foods during holidays or holy times.
The fact that these types of pickles are Kosher makes them a very popular choice for those in Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.
This love for the pickles started back in the early 1900s, and it has not wavered.
Today, there are many Jewish people across the country who enjoy a pickle with their sandwiches, and it is something you will find at many Jewish delis.
If you visit a Jewish deli in New York, you will find kosher pickles.
The full sour kosher dill pickles have gone through the fermentation period for quite a bit longer than the half-sour.
You will see these sold in long spears, and they are typically sold on popular sandwiches.
The full sour has a very strong flavor because of the amount of time that they have spent in the fermentation process.
3. Half Sour Kosher Dill
Similar to the full sour kosher dill pickles are the half sour kosher dill.
Again, these are usually sold as a spear, and they are typically found in Jewish delis.
However, a half sour kosher dill pickle does not go through as long of a fermentation process.
This means that it will still have a sour taste, but it won’t be as strong as that of the full sour.
These pickles are usually a bit crisper and are a better choice for those who are new to the kosher dill style pickles.
You will also notice that these are going to be a very bright green color because they have not spent as much time in the jar.
Overall, the kosher pickles are a big part of the Jewish culture, and that likely won’t change for many years to come.
If you are not Jewish, yet you see Kosher pickles for sale in the store, rest assured that they are going to be a great addition to your next sandwich.
4. Sweet Pickles
As we have mentioned about the kosher pickles, some varieties of pickles can be very sour.
If you are not used to this taste or are worried that the taste is going to be a bit more than you bargained for, then a sweet pickle may be a better choice.
There are several different types of sweet pickles, but the concept of making them is going to be very close to the same.
As always, the sweet pickles first go through their traditional pickle making process of being soaked in vinegar.
However, ingredients are added to the vinegar and this is really where you pick up any kind of flavor that you expect your pickles to have.
When it comes to sweet pickles, the flavors are typically sugar, cinnamon, or mustard seed that are added to the solution.
These ingredients help the pickles take on an entirely different taste.
Sweet pickles can be used on a lot of different foods.
Some people enjoy them with a hamburger or a sandwich, and others enjoy simply snacking on them.
5. Refrigerator Pickles
Refrigerator pickles are actually an easy treat for you to make at home.
Most of the time, the process of making pickles will take quite a bit of time, and the pickle will have to be soaked for weeks or months in order to take on the flavor.
However, if you want a simple pickle and you don’t want to wait that long, you can simply coat a cucumber with a vinegar solution and leave it in your refrigerator.
This process should take about 48 hours, and then you will have a perfect complement to any sandwich you are planning to eat.
Refrigerator pickles are the way that some delis choose to make their own pickles.
This is a unique type of pickle, and because of that, you may find that some areas can capture a different flavor than others.
If you find a location that has refrigerator pickles that you like, you can try to find out what their exact recipe involves.
Chances are there is something that you could quite easily find in your own home to whip up a batch of these refrigerator pickles.
6. Bread And Butter Pickles
Another very popular type of pickle is the bread and butter pickle.
These can be sold in spears, but for the most part, you are going to see them in slices.
This is one of the more unique tasting pickles, but when you try one, you will quickly see how they became so popular.
These are not difficult pickles to prepare because, again, it is the other ingredients in the jar that give the pickle the taste that you are looking for.
When you open the jar of bread and butter pickles, you can see that there are some other ingredients floating around.
To make a bread and butter pickle, ingredients like white vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, coriander seeds, sugar, and salt are included.
In fact, when you eat bread and butter pickles directly from the jar, you will likely have a few of these seeds sneak in with the pickles.
The thing that makes the bread and butter pickles stand out is that they are both sweet and salty.
This means that you can pair them with a lot of other foods, and they are going to complement quite well.
Most people really like these pickles on a hamburger.
When you have a hamburger with cheese, lettuce, and tomato that needs that extra little bit of sweetness, the bread and butter pickles will do the trick.
In addition, some people find that a bread and butter pickle will pair really well with a fried food as it can help to cut the grease a bit.
7. Hungarian Pickles
Hungarian pickles are very popular if you visit Hungary.
No matter what type of meal you are eating in Hungary, it seems as though the pickle is always a welcome side item.
The Hungarian pickles are often sold with sausages or fried foods.
You will notice that many pickles are sold with fried foods as it is a good combination when you are eating things that can be a bit greasy.
Having a fresher taste to cleanse the pallet is partly what makes the pickles so popular.
Most of the Hungarian pickles are prepared with garlic and/or dill, as well as quite a bit of salt.
One of the things that set the Hungarian pickle making process apart is that they leave a piece of bread at the top and bottom of the mixture.
Instead of closing the jar as it is done in most places, the jar stays open for a few days.
What happens is that the yeast from the bread helps to speed up the fermentation of the Hungarian pickles.
You are left with a unique and distinct taste that is a very important part of Hungarian culture.
Overall, this is going to be a very sour tasting pickle, and you will want to be careful about what you decide to pair it with.
8. Sour Pickles
Even if you are not a fan of vinegar, it has some very unique properties that help it to flavor food.
The sour pickles, however, are not always made with a vinegar brine.
Of course, the Kosher sour pickles use vinegar, but this does not have to be the case.
With some sour pickles, there is a fermentation process that happens with water, pickling salts, and spices.
This process tends to be very effective, and they don’t have any of that vinegar taste or harsh flavor that you will often get with a traditional pickle brine.
Instead, you will find something that is quite sour and will have no trace of sweetness.
Depending on the type of food you are trying to pair it with, this could be a good pickle choice for you to consider.
9. Kool-Aid Pickles
Kool-Aid pickles are sort of a unique new invention that took quite some time to come to market.
This is a recipe that you can make at home with pickles that you have already purchased from the store.
The most interesting thing about the Kool-Aid pickles is the color that they will take on after you soak them.
Essentially you will put Kool-Aid in the pickle juice that your pickles are soaking in.
Then you will allow them to go through the fermentation process for about another week or so.
The finished product is a pickle that comes out quite red looking as though it has just spent a week in a jar of Kool-Aid.
As you may very well imagine, the finished product is very sweet tasting.
Since Kool-Aid has so much sugar in it, the pickle is able to trap this sugar and produce a very strong sweet taste.
Be careful wearing a white shirt if you plan on eating one of these pickles.
When that red Kool-Aid juice squeezes out of one side of your sandwich, you will be in for a bit of a mess.
10. Lime Pickles
If you have seen lime pickles and wondered why they look a bit different, it is simply because they are not made from a traditional cucumber.
In fact, lime pickles are actually made with limes, and they are going to be very strong in flavor.
The lime pickles are going to be prepared in a somewhat similar way to other pickles, where the outside ingredients will help to determine the overall flavor of the finished pickle.
The lime pickling process includes ingredients like salt, chili powder, turmeric powder, limes, and even mustard seeds.
The lime pickles are placed in a jar, and they stay there for about two weeks’ time.
When you get your lime pickles out of the jar, they are going to look much different from when you put them in.
Expect to see a brown color as opposed to the original bright green you started with.
The overall flavor of lime pickles is quite strong, so you will want to serve these with more basic meals when possible.
Many people enjoy lime pickles when eating plain rice.
11. Cinnamon Pickles
Cinnamon pickles are sweeter than other options on the market.
Since these are almost considered a treat, they are often sold around the holidays.
Cinnamon pickles are often red in appearance, and this is because of the candy syrup that they are made with.
The vinegar, water, sugar, sticks of cinnamon, and red food coloring are all mixed together in this process.
The key ingredient, however, is red hot candies.
These candies are melted, and essentially, a syrup is made.
The syrup goes over the pickles when it is hot, and then it sits for a few days in the jar before it is time to serve.
Cinnamon pickles take a bit more prep work, but many people find that the finished result is worth the wait and the extra time commitment.
12. Gherkin Pickles
It’s usually relatively easy to pick out the gherkin pickles in the store.
These are made with a much different type of cucumber, and that is partly why they have a category of their own.
Gherkin pickles tend to only get a few inches long, and that makes them a perfect variety for this canning process.
With a gherkin pickle, you will see that the whole pickle is kept together as opposed to the slices or the spears that we see with other types of pickles.
These are a good option on sandwiches even without having to slice them, and most of the time, the taste will be similar to a dill pickle.
Some refer to these as mini dill pickles.
Although the cornichons may seem like a different type of pickle, it is actually just another name for the gherkin pickle.
In the United States, these pickles are considered gherkins, but almost everywhere else in the world, they will go by the name cornichons.
The best way to identify if you are eating a cornichon is that it will be about the size of your pinky finger.
You will notice that this is not a piece of cucumber cut into pieces.
The stem of the cornichons is usually left on as well, but most do not consume the stem when they eat these pickles.
Typically, it is cut off and set to the side while the rest of the cornichon is consumed.
14. Candied Pickles
Candied pickles are made to be sweeter than other types.
People tend to get unique and creative when making candied pickles.
These are going to have a sweet taste similar to that of the cinnamon pickles or the bread and butter type.
If you choose to make candied pickles at home, you can control how much sugar you add to give them the sweet taste that you need.
Candied pickles are typically eaten on their own or as a side to a fried dish.
Since they have a distinctly sweet taste, you will want to be prepared for the flavor that they bring.
If it’s your first time making candied pickles, go a bit easy on the sugar to make sure that you don’t overdo it.
15. Polish Pickles
Last but not least on our list of 15 types of pickles are the Polish pickles.
The Polish pickles are very similar to the kosher pickles, except that they contain more dill.
Dill is a very strong herb, and it is going to impact the flavor of anything that you pair it with.
If you see Polish pickles in your grocery store, know that the dill flavor is going to be quite strong when you bite into this pickle.
If you are new to the world of pickles and want to start with something basic, we would recommend starting with a dill pickle as opposed to a Polish pickle.
Once you decide you have a taste for these pickles, you can start eating more and more varieties.
Most people will find that they are either a fan of the sour or the sweet pickles.
The two tastes are entirely different, and it isn’t rare to like one type of pickle but not another.
The bottom line is that there are so many different types of pickles, it is worth trying a few to see if your taste buds respond accordingly.