Who Invented Fried Pickles?

You are sitting in a Pub, eating this delicious appetizer, when all of a sudden someone mentions who invented fried pickles. The question has been haunting you for some time now, and you want to know the answer. Well, who invented fried pickles?

The credit for inventing this popular snack goes to:

Bernell “Fatman” Austin

Fried dill pickles are a southern classic that began as a roadside eatery in Arkansas. Bernell “Fatman” Austin served them at the Duchess Drive Inn in Atkins, Arkansas, in 1963.

According to Arkansas-based food writer and historian Kat Robinson, who invented fried pickles was Bernell “Fatman” Austin. As the owner of the Duchess, Bernell first came up with an idea for this snack!

It’s not surprising that Austin would come up with the concept since his restaurant was located just feet away from a pickle factory.

Austin, who loved fried pickles, was quoted as saying that “It’s just something different.”

History of Fried Pickles

After their invention in 1963. fried pickles took off and became a popular snack in many Texas bars.

Fried pickles became a popular dish at roadside stands and fairs in the 1970s. Gradually, fried pickles made their way into restaurants and cuisine. Texans are notorious for claiming ownership of the snack. However, fried pickles first appeared at state fairs in the 1980s. Since then, state fairs all over the country have been a popular destination for people looking for fried pickles, at least for the last 15 to 20 years, according to Robinson.

Today Fried Pickles are served in many restaurants worldwide and continue to be a popular appetizer.

The name “fried pickle” first appeared around 1975 or 1976, although who exactly first coined the term remains uncertain. Kentucky claims credit for the snack’s invention. Although evidence has surfaced that it credits itself with who invented fried pickles, it may not have been the first state to serve them at its county fairs. In 1977, the “Lexington Herald-Leader” reported that fried pickles were a popular new item at fairs across the state.

Fried Pickles Around The World

In Australia, those who invented fried pickles vary from state to state. They are served under different names but thin-sliced pickles marinated in a buttermilk batter and deep-fried until golden brown.

In Greece, fried pickles are called “Tories Me Fourno,” which means “Fried Vegetables .”The batter used for fried pickles consists of flour, sparkling water, salt, and pepper. According to Greece fried pickles creator Theodoros Tzortzis, he made who invented fried pickles while working at Taverna Agnantis in Glyfada, Athens, in 1987. In his version of fried pickles, the dill or garlic-stuffed baby pickle is first marinated overnight in a mixture of oil, lemon juice, and water before being dipped in a batter and fried.

In Egypt, crispy fried pickles were invented by Samir Ragab, owner of the brand Golden Star Food in 1990 at Al-Ahram International Fair. The secret behind who created fried pickles is lightly coating them with spiced flour and deep-frying them in vegetable oil to make them crunchy on the outside and refreshingly sour inside. After discovering their yummy taste, Egyptians started making it themselves instead of buying it from street vendors. Americans take advantage of food delivery services to order for dinner when they do not feel like cooking and save time and money.

Today fried pickles can be found at almost all restaurant menus worldwide and are a popular snack among children and adults alike.

Types of Fried Pickles

There are many different fried pickles that you can order at almost any restaurant. There are so many fried pickles out there today; they have all kinds of dipping sauces ranging from ketchup to mustard and tartar sauce.

The three most popular types of fried pickles are:

1) Beer battered fried pickles

The beer-battered variety of fried pickles is the most common fried pickles. You will find it at many restaurants – ranging from local cafes to high-end five-star restaurants. The batter used for battered fried pickles is a mixture of flour, cornmeal, and spices that create a thin crispy coating on the outside. After being dipped in a spicy batter, these spicy fritters are deep-fried until crisp on the outside but still slightly tart inside.

2) Beer battered fried dill pickle slices

This type of fried pickles is precisely like the beer-battered variety. It consists of thinner sliced dill or bread and butter cucumbers. They are first marinated overnight in a mixture of oil, lemon juice, and water before being dipped in a batter and deep-fried to perfection.

3) Breaded fried pickles

These fried pickles consist of thinly sliced pickles lightly coated with seasoned flour before being dredged through egg wash, panko bread crumbs, flour again for extra texture. Deep-fried until crispy on the outside but still slightly tart inside. The Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn popularizes this version in Owensboro, Kentucky. It is often served with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Fried Pickles Recipe

Fried pickles are easy to make and can be served as an appetizer or side dish. Whether you want tomatoes, onions, zucchini who invented fried pickles made with cucumbers, or any other type of root vegetable will work just fine.

Ingredients:

1 large firm cucumber, peeled if desired sliced into

1/4-inch wooden spears/sticks

4 cups canola oil for frying

For the batter: 1 cup flour 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional) 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional) 4 ounces cold beer (or soda water if you prefer non-alcoholic version) 

Note: You may need more or less depending on how much batter falls off the pickles as you coat them.

For the Dredge: 1 cup flour or substitute with 2/3 cup cornmeal for a crunchier texture. 1 Tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional) 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)

Directions:

1) Rinse cucumbers in cold water until all dirt is removed. Pat dry using paper towels or a clean dish towel to remove excess moisture, or else the batter won’t stick well. Slice cucumbers into about 4-inch long spears. If desired, remove outer skin by peeling it off with a vegetable peeler leaving just the inner fleshy part of cucumber intact. Discarding the ends, which are usually too bitter to eat.

2) Combine ingredients for batter. Mix well to dissolve the salt and spices thoroughly until no clumps remain. Add beer or soda water slowly while stirring the batter mixture continuously until it becomes slightly thin, similar to pancake batter consistency. The keyword here is SLIGHTLY narrow as too lean will be difficult to dip the pickles into this wet batter because it flows off right away. Please make sure that no clumps in this wet batter or coating will not stick onto the cucumber slices properly when deep-frying them later on.

3) In a separate bowl, combine flour and other spices for the dredge. Lightly mix them with a fork until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined and mixed well together evenly without any lumps forming.

4) Prepare a fryer or large skillet with 4 cups of canola oil at 360 degrees F (don’t need to preheat oil if pan-frying).

5) Place 1-2 pickles into the wet batter coat all sides evenly. Transfer them directly into the dredge mixture, pressing lightly onto each side to coat it thoroughly.

6) Pickles are ready for deep frying once they turn golden brown on both sides. If you see excess batter oozing out from the pickle, carefully wipe using a paper towel to remove the extra batter before putting it back into the fryer. You can always dip more cucumber slices into wet batter again until all pickles are coated.

7) Maintain the oil temperature at about 360 degrees F during frying.

8) Remove fried pickles from the pan and place them onto a plate lined with a paper towel to prevent them from becoming greasy.

9) Serve along with ranch or blue cheese dressing, ketchup, or any dipping sauce of your choice! Enjoy! 

Head over to the Who Invented page and find out who invented other delicious snacks worldwide!