I just have these memories of eating hamburgers, fast-food hamburgers to be precise, and I would come across this slight crunch and then I would feel that wet, slippery pickle chip in my mouth. I could always feel it over the other common vegetables; slices of tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and the rings of onion. I never enjoyed eating a hamburger with pickle chips in it.
As many restaurants do, they serve pickle spears as an accompaniment to any sandwich or sometimes wrap or roll-up, depending on what they call it. Today at a small little cafe in Edgartown called Among the Flowers Cafe, justly named because of all the flowers planted along the cafes perimeter and the cute flowers that decorate each table inside and on the patio. It was cold outside and I was craving coffee. I woke up late today— and every day since I arrived —and skipped any sort of breakfast. Since I'm on a tight budget, I opted for a $6.95 BLT. Its hard to screw up a BLT and to my delight, they don't usually have pickles nestled between the lettuce and the tomatoes. Granted, if that were the case it would be referred to as a BLPT, BPLT, BLTP or... the list could go on for two or three more lines of text— you get the idea.
I poured myself a cup of half hazelnut and the rest French roast, seeing as how the air pot was nearing the end of its contents by spewing drops of coffee and air into my 'large' compostable paper cup, and took a seat by the window. My BLT was done in a few minutes after I had taken my seat and I was joined by a red plastic basket adorned with paper, a BLT, a generous helping of potato chips— and a pickle spear.
While reading my book, The Omnivore's Dilema (perfect reading material for eating, yes?), I ate my sandwich in silence picking out little bits of the conversation taking place just a few feet away from me about the adventures at the Lampost, and what they refer to as 'VH' or 'OB'. How hip they are? I thought while I giggled to myself.
Every so often I would come across a part of my sandwich that had been laying far too near to the pickle spear. I could taste it as the juices seeped quickly into my toasted bread whenever I would set my sandwich down into the basket between page-turning and chip-eating. I always thought that pickle spears were a bad partner for sandwich for that reason— aside from my dislike towards them —the juices are always absorbed by the sponge bread used to make the sandwich or hamburger.
After one more bite that tasted of pickle, I decided I would just take a bite out of the spear. I don't know what I was trying to prove, or even who I was trying to prove it to, but it seemed like the opportune time to do it. So I did. I took a bite about the size a a nickel. Suffice to say I confirmed my feelings about pickles— I just don't like them. Proudly, however, I chewed it up and swallowed it. There was no polite removal of the pickle chunk into a napkin or even worse the spitting out of the pickle chunk into my basket of chips and the remaining half of my BLT.
Perhaps I'll try again when I feel like it. I'll eat relish in my tuna salad or on a Hebrew National All Beef Hot Dog — but I will not eat pickle spears, pickle chips or even consider drinking the pickle juice (Joey, if you ever read this, pickle juice snow cones were the worst idea ever).