Pickles come in all types of shapes and tastes, but most of them are sweet. Enter: bread and butter pickles, the perfect combination of sweet, briny, and crunchy. But exactly what are bread and butter pickles and what makes them so special? Read on to find out.

Bread Bartered for Pickles

Back in 1923, two Illinois farmers, Omar and Cora Fanning, filed for the trademark "Fanning's Bread and Butter Pickles" after starting to sell their sweet and sour pickles.

During years of difficult sales, the Fanning's made pickles with their extra undersized cucumbers and used them to barter for with their grocer for pantry staples like bread and butter.

Pickles With a Twist

The basic bread and butter pickles recipe adds a sliced sweet onion to the pickling mic of cucumber, white vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and celery seeds. The onions are a nice complement to the pickles and also look great in the pickle jar.

Not Your Average Dill

pickle, salt, vinegar, condiment, gherkin, vegetable, jam
Hannah Petersen

These preserved cucumbers are a perfect mix of sweet and salty, with a nice crunch that makes them stand out in the pickle line. Combined with the sweet onions and mustard seeds, bread and butter pickles are more unique that the typical sliced kosher dill pickles.

Picnic Staple

Bread and butter pickles can be eaten just like any other pickle. Great on burgers, sandwiches, or alongside your classic BBQ fare, these sweet accompaniment can even be fried. The tangy and sweet spices can even be used to pickle simply onions or bell peppers. 

With this basic overview of bread and butter pickles, you're ready to attack the pickle aisle with the knowledge of a pickle connoisseur. Next time someone asks you, "What are bread and butter pickles?" you can use your wisdom to fill them in.