A raging debate to be settled

Bread and Butter Pickles or Dill



277 Bread and Butter Pickles
884 Dill Pickles (including Kosher)
1161 – Total


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Maureen says:

    Must one choose? Can one not cling to the Catholic “both-and”?

  2. PaulJason says:

    Kosher Dill? And yes there is a difference between Dill and Kosher Dill.

  3. Raphaela says:

    I’d rather have olives!

  4. Janet says:

    My choice would have to be the non-existent 3rd option: I don’t like any pickles whatsoever!

  5. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    Kosher Dill!

    Yes, indeed, there is a difference.

  6. No one of consequence says:

    I’m with Maureen. It depends on that with which one is having the pickles.

  7. Wm. Christopher Hoag says:

    Nothing is better than a kosher dill after a Patty Melt! All right, already! I know, mixing dairy and meat is not kosher. But I answer to THE Rabbi (John 20:16)!

  8. JoyfulMom7 says:

    How fun! Father is trying to cheer us up!

  9. Felicitas says:

    Can’t vote, like ’em both. Different pickles for different situations.

  10. Gavin says:

    Say the black, do the red, eat the green!

  11. John Enright says:

    People, can’t we all get along?

  12. Dominic H says:

    Blame, or thank, the time I spent living and working and studying in Ukraine, Russia, and Poland (and not least holidaying in Latvia and Lithuania), but dill all the way (dill seems to be used, especially in Latvia, as a seasoning with very many things at all).

    Now that was a pleasingly frivolous post

  13. KK says:

    As your congressman, while I PERSONALLY prefer dill pickles and would never PERSONALLY have a bread and butter pickle, I would never force another to choose dill pickles. It important that we work together to solve the problem of too many bread and butter pickles without forcing people to eat dill pickles. I’m sorry, what was the question again?

  14. boredoftheworld says:

    What about sweet pickles!?

  15. Joe says:

    I always thought “bread and butter pickles” was like “Manhattan clam chowder” – not really pickles. Then my baba would say ‘nie ma jak w stary kraju’ and we would all nod (‘it’s not like the old country’)

  16. Brandon says:

    I’m with Janet. Gimme a slice of cheese any day. And keep the pickles away!

  17. PaulJason says:

    Thank you for the clarification.

    My vote went for Kosher Dill. However I still love bread and butter pickles.

  18. Matthew says:

    As long as it’s crunchy, it’s good for me! Joe, that sounds like a bit of Croatian to me. Am I correct? Or is it another Slavic tongue?

  19. Dominic H says:

    It does mean “not like back in the old country”, doesn’t it.

    (I have to say… I had to look up “bread and butter pickle”. We don’t call them that here in the UK. “gherkins” or, in slang, “wallies”, I think.)

  20. Felicitas says:

    Bread and butter pickles ARE sweet.

  21. Most Excellent Sledgehammer says:

    Let all who love dill pickles be anathema.

  22. cuaguy says:

    I am going with Janet and Brandon-none for me!

  23. Charivari Rob says:

    Ah, truly a topic to be relished.

  24. Mary in CO says:

    Let all who love bread and butter pickles have their sweet tooth pulled.

    Man up. Eat the dill! (spears, whole, stackers and chips)

  25. Gloria says:

    Bread and butter pickles with a tuna sandwich; Kosher dill with braunschweiger and a beer!

  26. we love being married says:

    Let us consult St Thomas Aquinas on this august topic.

  27. Daniel Latinus says:

    Kosher Dill Pickles with Cheese! (Claussen’s specifically, which are also rather garlicky.) For lunch, every Friday.

  28. boredoftheworld says:

    “Bread and butter pickles ARE sweet.”

    But they are not in fact “sweet pickles”, they’re a sort of hybrid between sweets and dills. If you run bread and butters through the grinder when you’re making tuna salad you’re gonna end up with some funky sandwiches.

  29. boredoftheworld says:

    Oh and Gloria is obviously a complete heathen… bread and butter pickles with tuna sandwiches… Good grief. Just put dirt on bread and call it fried chicken if your palette is that disoriented.

  30. Terth says:

    I shall never be reconciled with Bread and Butter pickles. I didn’t even know they existed until I unwittingly ate one that was disguised as a Dill. By “disguised” I mean, of course, that it looked like a pickle – and why would anything that looks like a pickle taste like anything other than a Dill (excepting, of course, Jewish pickles, which are in a class by themselves).

  31. Matt says:

    While I voted for Dill, I am have quite a firm appreciation and even sympathy the Great Sweet Gherkin schism of 1661.

  32. Scarlett says:

    I have no idea what a “bread and butter” pickle, even with the discussion about them that has gone on above. I think I’ll vote Dill, because I know I like those.

  33. Paul S. Quist says:

    My burning question is… why are they called “bread and butter” pickles?

    Paul, Edmonton

  34. marnie says:

    Oh, the humanity! Why must we discriminate so! For every pickle there is a season and a reason.

  35. Dill pickles are far and away the best kind of pickle for all uses. Dill pickle relish is the best of all pickle relishes, and is unfortunately much harder to find in stores.

    We always canned pickles at home, and made garlic dills. As kids we used to fight over the garlic clove at the bottom of the jar when we finished off the pickles.

  36. RichR says:

    Dill pickles have been the Tradition since time immemorial. It’s those crazy Modernists who have thrust bread and butter “pickles” on us.

    Oh sorry, I’m getting my debates mixed up.

  37. Nathan says:

    Matt: “While I voted for Dill, I am have quite a firm appreciation and even sympathy the Great Sweet Gherkin schism of 1661.”

    I’m afraid, Matt, that such a statment clearly demonstrates that you are a neo-Dillative.

    In Christ,

  38. boredoftheworld says:

    Bread and butter pickles are probably so called because they were added to (brace yourselves) bread and butter to make a sandwich when people in the US didn’t have much else in the way of food.

    I’ve heard stories of people actually making pickles and I suppose there may be some truth in it, but in my experience pickles come from God… seriously, how many times have you been digging through the fridge only to be confronted with a rogue jar of pickles and when you asked “where did these pickles come from?” the answer was “God only knows”.

  39. Brian Day says:

    I voted “bread and butter”, although I would have liked a “both” option.

    I do find that with most sandwiches dill pickles are best, but for hamburgers give me a sweet pickle.

    Heresy, I know. ;-)

  40. Brian says:

    Kosher garlic dill pickles from Brooklyn.

  41. Coletta says:

    Dill/sour the better :)

  42. J. Wong says:

    No pickles for me…….

  43. a catechist says:

    hey! I think we’ve got a new ecumenical possibility here….we could share pickle recipes, good pickle food (salami, etc.), and most of all, pickles themselves, with Russian and Eastern Orthodox folks in the interest of building Christian culture.

  44. Sylvia says:

    There are certain things which should not be sweet, but should be tangy, salty, savory. Pickles are among those things. I was so disappointed when I tried “bread and butter” pickles for the first time, because the name sounds so wholesome, good, and appealing. The actual product is not!

    That is, of course, my opinion. What do you think, Father?

  45. Mary in CO says:

    Time for public confession: much as I absolutely love dill pickles, I admit to putting both sweet and dill relish (at the same time!) in my tuna salad sandwich! With hot/sweet mustard. And Mayo. On dark rye.

    Mea culpa.

    Ooh. Lunch time. Gotta go.

  46. Joe says:

    Polish, but my spelling might be off.
    One of the joys of living in community: someone from an ethnic background that doesn’t have much use for pickles put the remains of the jar of bread-and-butter pickles in the remains of the jar of dill pickles ‘to make room in the fridge’. oh the humanity!

  47. momoften says:


  48. Mike D. says:

    I’m with those who said, it depends on what I’m having! Some things require a Kosher dill, some I’d prefer bread & butter pickles.

  49. David Andrew says:

    Why must we choose? Is there not room in the Kingdom for cornishons? Give the gherkin the glory due it’s name. . . and, what about the spicy hot with the sweet? A pickle that’s lost its savor hasn’t got much in its favor.

    Diversity in unity! All God’s crunchers got a place at the deli counter!

  50. jarhead462 says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. I love bread and butter pickles on my hamburgers. Rest of the time I like garlic dill….or cornishon…or…..ok I like them all.

    Semper Fi!

  51. John H. says:

    Bread and butter pickles are to the pickle world, what invalid matter is to the sacramental. People involved in such an atrocity should be ashamed and should seek reconciliation with their local delicatessen.

  52. Jenny Z says:

    I demand a Sweet Pickle option.

  53. Lirioroja says:

    I will band with the four people above who said, “Here – you can have my pickles.”

    Although, Brian above who said “kosher dill pickles from Brooklyn” made me smile.
    I don’t like pickles but I’m a proud Brooklynite.

  54. Liam says:

    This is missing the most important pickle – the “new” or “half-sour” pickle.

  55. PaulJason says:

    There are nearly 600 votes

  56. Rachel says:

    I am loving the comments and adding my voice to those clamoring to know Fr. Z’s preference.

  57. Mike B. says:

    Father, this is an easy one. Dill, of course, inclusive of the many variations such as half-sours, garlic, etc.

    Now ye voices, stand up for dills!



  58. Anne-France says:

    Where do I click if I want (French) cornichons instead?

  59. joe says:

    At last. Democracy is shown to work!



  60. Most Excellent Sledgehammer says:

    Although I voted bread and butter and will leave no question regarding my belief in the superiority of bread and butter, is my hope that Father Z will, in an act of paternal benevolence, bring me back into the pickle fold, so as to open up a sort of pickle dialogue in order to bring about a greater unity in all of Pickledom.

  61. RBrown says:

    That dill pickles are winning this going away goes a long way toward restoring my faith in humanity.

  62. RBrown says:

    BTW, in the fridge is a gallon jar of Vlasic Dill crinkle cut chips that I bought at Sam’s.

  63. I was going to say that I’m an Anglican (which indeed I am) and therefore choose both but then Raphaela had to come along and confuse the matter by adding olives. I am inclined to invoke a curse upon her but who could bring themselves to curse a woman who likes olives.

  64. Madonna says:

    Father Z: I can over 100 quarts of pickles every year. Cold-pack garlic dill,
    naturally. But, I always make at least a dozen bread & butters because my
    mother always did and I have HER recipe written in her hand. That 100 quarts
    does not include the several different kinds of fruit & vegetable pickles
    besides cucumber pickles. Want some?


  65. Scott W. says:

    Bread and Butter pickles are invalid. Only the Classic Dill validly confers pickle-goodness to its participants. The bread and butter pickles are an innovation and reeks of modernism.

  66. Of course I want some. Who wouldn’t … except the deranged people who don’t like pickles… ?

  67. boredoftheworld says:

    Oh surely valid but illicit, they are indeed pickles in the broad sense but they are neither sweet nor dill.

  68. Terth says:

    Seriously, all – no one has mentioned an additional affinity to Jewish pickles? They’re in the big barrel at the deli counter; with everyone sticking their hands/the tongs in to grab one and slide it in the bags provided. Sanitation be damned, there’s football to be watched and sandwiches to be accompanied.

    Maybe it’s just a Philly thing…

  69. JaneC says:

    Add me to the ranks of “the deranged people who don’t like pickles.” I occasionally will put a pickle in some food that other people expect pickles in, for instance if I’m making potato salad for my parents. But y’all can help yourselves to my share of the pickles.

  70. I’m in a pickle with this one.

  71. Brian Day says:

    Scott W says: “The bread and butter pickles are an innovation and reeks of modernism.”
    Laying the smack-down there, Scott. :-) Let me offer a mild defense.
    The Gherkin dates to the third century B.C. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gherkin) and as such has a lineage as long as the dill pickle. Given the principles laid down at Trent, the use Gherkin may be continued. I posit that the bread and butter pickle organically evolved from the Gherkin, keeping a Hermeneutics of Continuity with this ancient tradition.
    No modernism here, my friend. Just solid tradition. :p

  72. cuaguy says:

    Fr. Z,

    So now I am deranged for not liking pickles? That hurts :(
    What ever happened to my spot in you administration after you won the award anyway? [I am not sure I can have Pickle Deniers in my administration. Serious business.]

  73. Willebrord says:

    Ugh. Father, I think you write excellent articles, run a great blog, and are my main source of news.


    I HATE pickles!!! In any form! [tragic]

    Ordinary cucumbers are fine, though…

  74. jon says:

    to prawda Joe, nie ma nic lepszego niz ogorki kiszone ktore robi moja mama… [Lemme guess… “nothing is better than my mother’s pickles”?]

  75. Joan Ellen says:

    May God continue to bless you, and thanks Father Z.

  76. Dill pickles beating my beloved bread n butter?


  77. Jimbo says:

    It really depends on what dish the pickles are complementing. Give me a juicy, hickory smoked burger on a soft white bun, and my palate hollers for icy cold, crunchy, snappy dill slices. Bread and butters just can’t stand up to that. There’s plenty of sugar in the ketchup and sweetness in the sliced tomatoes, and the dills don’t have to compete with that. Change the entree to albacore sprinkled with celery seed and mixed up with some hard boiled egg, a dash of cayenne and a dollop of mayo…I’ll give a green light to some coarsely chopped bread and butters over the dills any day, as there’s plenty of bitter in the celery seed already. The mustard seeds in B&Bs have a say in such an arrangement, too. [A well-considered contribution.]

  78. Most Excellent Sledgehammer says:

    You can’t be Catholic and Pro-Dill…c’mon people…get with the program. ;-)

  79. joy says:

    ‘The Gherkin dates to the third century B.C. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gherkin) and as such has a lineage as long as the dill pickle. Given the principles laid down at Trent, the use Gherkin may be continued. I posit that the bread and butter pickle organically evolved from the Gherkin, keeping a Hermeneutics of Continuity with this ancient tradition.
    No modernism here, my friend. Just solid tradition. :p

    Comment by Brian Day’

    So the EF and OF form of pickles will coexist and play nicely together, albeit not in the same jar/meal/sandwich. Perhaps the OF picklemakers will learn the EF recipe?

  80. Liam says:


    Kosher dill pickles are perfect with pizza (well, real pizza, not the overloaded excesses that sometimes pass for pizza in parts of the USA). Cool and crisp meets warm and gooey.

  81. Brian Day says:

    Jimbo said in relation to the hamburger: “There’s plenty of sugar in the ketchup and sweetness in the sliced tomatoes…”

    You have a hickory smoked burger and you put ketchup on it? Sigh.
    Prudence keeps me from posting any more on this greatest of sacrileges.

  82. Allena says:

    ooohhhh the ignorant masses of pickle haters and dill and bread and butter lovers. I have to just say, that really the very best pickle, ever made by any hands is the sweet lime pickle. It is sweet, it is sour, it has a tang and flavor that brings tuna up to the level of a five star sandwich. In fact, God created tuna sandwiches purposely to showcase the great and wonderful flavor of this pickle. Anything else is just a substitute.

    Yes I know, none of you have ever ever had it. It’s southern thing that rivals biscuits and gravy and real BBQ. It is indescribably delicious and EVERY single pickle hater that tries it, loves it. (The previously mentioned husband is a professed sweet pickle hater) As an aside, why oh why did my Dad have to make him try one? Now I have to watch as he eats them all up and there’s so much less for me…sigh.

    I make these, and there is a standing marriage agreement that there better be pickles or our marriage is in serious and mortal trouble.

    IF I can sneak a jar into the mail, I’ll send some.

    In fact, I think we should all send jars of pickles to father, our favorites, especially home made ones. Then he can choose the correct pickle to be labeled….”The Best Pickle”.

    I think mine would win. No contest.

    Oh and the winner should get a free coffee cup. hee hee cause I want one.

    Where do we mail it?

  83. Anna Jean says:

    Ham and Swiss on Pumpernickel? Bread and Butter
    Hamburger with American on white? Dill (I don’t care to have anything kosher in my house. Never did.)

  84. ckdexterhaven says:

    I lurve me some homemade dill pickles. I especially love ham salad with dill pickles. Martha Stewart had a “quick” sweet pickle recipe this summer. It wasn’t too bad, and it only took about 30 minutes to make. But I was the only one in the house who ate them. A jar of Claussens will only last for 1/2 day in my home.

    A good thing is Poore Brothers Salt and Vinegar chips and claussens. tasty!

  85. cuaguy says:

    Fine, then I think that I will have to remove all of my votes, this making you not the winner :) lol

  86. cuaguy says:

    And I like the cucumbers, just not after the become pickles :)

  87. cua: But it is exactly the substantial change we are talking about!

  88. Joe says:

    and only dill pickles lend themselves to that sublimity of stuff bad for you (bacon-free class) – Dill Pickle Chips, Canada’s favourite flavour.

  89. Boko Fittleworth says:

    Half-sours. From Guss on Hester (though it’s been awhile-apparently they’ve moved).


  90. Mary Ann says:

    Father, we’ll be expecting pix of the delivery trucks bringing the pickles to your front door.

    I voted dill, but my favorite was not listed: Gedney’s hot and sweet ZINGERS chips…incredible!

  91. Unknown Thomist says:

    Long time lurker, first time commenter. And it was pickles that brought me out of the woodwork. As many have said there is a time and place for each, but I HAD to vote B&B. My mother used to make them using her great-aunt’s recipe, with cucumbers from our garden. The house would smell of vinegar and mustard and cumin for days. What I wouldn’t give for another jar of those! Thank you Father Z for this wonderful memory and bringing a smile in what can be discouraging times. God bless and prosper you and your work.
    Unknown Thomist

  92. Joe says:

    Ah, Unknown Thomist raises the possibility of an aliud quid: mustard pickles. Those mysterious somewhat glutinous jars with that hint of the Orient (not the East) about them.

  93. cuaguy says:

    Fr. Z,

    One could extrapolate some things out of that response, not that I will :)

  94. Charivari Rob says:

    Father Z. –

    By launching this poll, are you implying that there is some sort of cafeteria in which we can pick and choose our pickle beliefs?

    Should this have been headed as a Killer Asteroid question? ;^)

    Personally, I’m a pickle agnostic.

    Yes, I was born into a family that ate pickles. I was exposed to the rote basics in childhood, but never really learned from someone who had that true devotion.

    Yeah, we went to market almost every week. There was a little something special, a ritual, a special treat in selecting one pickle from the briny bin and dropping it in the little bag. Sure, there were smells (brine) and bells (#15! Now serving #15!). But… I can’t say I ever believed in a true pickle.

    Then, I fell away in adolescence and young-adult years. I’m sure it started for me the same way it did for many of you. It really was so much easier to keep a jar of relish on the fridge door. After all, it has real pickles somewhere in there, right? And – it’s chopped up (Things are so much easier when you only have to take small bites, and not look at something in its truest form). Low effort and low maintenance, too (I didn’t have to seek it out every week – it was always there on the shelf, if I needed it). Eventually, I just sorta’ soured on the whole thing.

    I am not inclined to seek out pickles now, but… should a pickle present itself in my life and accomplish something miraculous (with no effort or risk on my part), I’m willing to believe.

  95. joy says:

    Why can we only vote one time?

  96. Catherine says:

    I can’t eat pickles anymore….way too much salt. But here in Texas, they
    sell fried pickles. Ewwww….

  97. Father Totton says:

    when I was a wee lad my godparents came to visit us (lived in Motown at the time). Of course they brought the cousins. my brother and I and our two cousins soon discovered that, in addition to blood, we had pickle preferences. One cousin and I were fans of the Dill while my brother and my other cousin liked the Sweet. We quickly termed this affinity “pickle pals” (I realize how juvenile this sounds – we were kids). Fast forward 25 years to Thanksgiving 2008 – with pickles on the relish tray – the old pickle preferences were quickly remembered – and yes, they remain the same.

  98. Robert says:

    I prefer dill pickles, but love bread and butter. My mother canned both. And there are her mustard pickles! mmm! And pickled eggs. I love ’em all.

    A favorite snack is a nice big crispy dill with a glass of orange juice.

  99. opey124 says:

    We like fried dill pickles along with fried green tomatoes. Can’t have them too often tho.

  100. jarhead462 says:

    A few things occured to me while reading the posts about this.
    1. I am assumeing that you like most pickles, including various fruit and vegetable pickles.
    2. Recognizing that pickles, (like most things) are better when homemade, I think you have opened a door here for many of the posters here who wistfully remember their pickle youth, to start breaking out their recipies and making pickles.
    In these difficult times, we should get back to doing these wonderful things like canning, pickleing, and …well…cooking!
    3. Having surely inspired many to try their hand at this, there is the added benefit of having some homemade goodies sent to a certain Priest-blogger. (this is a good thing) ;)
    4. Finally, while many of us plot to sent our creations to Fr. Z, he has (purposely, or inadvertently)reminded us to give our parish Priest, and our local consecrated religious Sisters and Brothers, some of the fruits of our labor. I’m sure they will appriciate it very much.

    Semper Fi!

  101. Dr. Eric says:

    If I can endorse a name brand, it would be Claussen dill pickles. My grandma used to make them but she hasn’t done so for decades.

  102. Mary says:

    Claussen Dill pickles! For some reason they’ve gone out of favor at my house and we now have only those yellowy ones with the stork, instead of the green-and-white Cluassen ones. I miss them. Suppose I could buy some.

Comments are closed.