Deep-fried Pickles at Sam’s Monkey Tree Pub in Yellowknife
I was served this little Appetizer at Sam’s Monkey Tree Pub in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Now, I remember that the first time I ever heard of Pickle being eaten this way, I thought:
‘Who in the hell deep-fries Pickles?’
Well, as it turns out that a lot of people in the Southern States of the US really love this culinary heresy AND, it also turns out, they are actually pretty good.
I have had layovers in Yellowknife more times than I can count. Sometimes just overnight, and sometimes for a few days. On single night layovers I usually stayed in a hotel withing walking distance of Sam’s, and so I enjoyed quite a few meals there over the years. The place is something of a cross between a nightclub and a roadhouse and the menu is chiefly pub grub, running from deep-fried appetizers like the Pickles in question, all the way through burgers, to Char-broiled Steaks.
Anyway, the pickles at Sam’s were of the ‘Dill Pickle’ variety cut into ‘spears’ (sometimes called ‘icicle’ pickles) and were lightly breaded before being deep-fried. In some recipes, the Cucumbers used to make the pickles are sliced crosswise before pickling, or the whole pickled type are sliced that way before deep-frying. Bater is sometimes used (although less commonly than beading, as far as I can tell), and in the US, a lot of people favor a Cornmeal coating.
Quite honestly, it is hard to say a great deal about the taste and texture of this specialty. The texture of the pickle is slightly softer than when crisp from a freshly opened jar, I suppose, and the crunchiness of the breadcrumbs certainly add an interesting counterpoint. The taste, however, is…well, pretty much the taste of any Dill Pickle, the only real difference being that you experience it hot rather than cold.
There was something called a ‘Lemon Caper Aioli’ on the side that, for my money, was really just a fancy name for the same Tartar Sauce you usually get with Fish and Chips. Still, the Pickles need a little something and this worked just fine as a dip. Personally, I probably won’t bend over backwards to have these again, but I did enjoy them and was glad to have seen why they are such a popular treat down south.