How I Got the Hot Garlic Dill Pickle Recipe
Years ago in Sacramento, California, I ran across an old man selling pickles at a swap meet. He made the pickles in his own kitchen in large plastic barrels and sold them on week-ends. I went to this swap meet every Saturday all during the summer and noticed the lines of people gathered in front of his booth, but I always walked by.
Then, one Saturday, I stopped. He had many types of home made pickles, with bite-sized samples of the various pickles laid out for tasting. They were all good but when I tried the Hot, Garlic, Dill Pickle... I was hooked. So, for three dollars, I bought a quart of pickles served up in a cardboard Chinese take-out carton. They were the absolute, best pickles I had ever tasted.
I made pickles myself many times over the years, but they were nothing special. In fact, pickles from the store were better. I thought, if only I knew how the old man made them, I could make my own. But I was sure he would not give out his recipe since he made his living selling them. So, I never asked.
Instead, I went through every recipe book in the library looking for pickles. I tried dozens of recipes, but never came close to the old man's formula.
Several years passed as I continued buying pickles from the old guy until one Saturday...he was not there. So, I went to the Swap Meet Office and asked what happened to the pickle man. As I feared, he had died.
Sadly, I accepted the fact that I would never taste those fabulous hot, garlic, dills again. Then, as I was reading the Sunday paper, I spotted a small article on "The Pickle Man Passes Away". The old man's daughter provided her father's life story and to keep his memory alive, she included his best pickle recipes. She felt that he would want his pickles to continue being enjoyed.
When I read the recipe for the hot, garlic dill pickles, I was not sure it was the real thing. It was too simple. There had to be some exotic, secret ingredient. But there it was... with no secret ingredient.
Of course, I made the pickles that same day and they were perfect. They were the old man's pickles!
Go to pickle recipe
While the pickle recipe on this website is still based on the Pickle Man's original recipe, it has been modified. The original recipe made a very salty pickle...which I liked. But after several
people tried the original recipe, they complained that the pickles were too salty (one said, "inedible"). So the recipe you see on this site today has been modified to reduce the salt to a level more
compatible with average taste.