Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Stroke Of Genius

I don’t know who came up with it, I don’t know how they came up with it, nor do I care. All I know is that deep fried pickles are pure brilliance. They are just about the most perfect thing I have eaten in a long time.

I have had deep fried blue cheese-stuffed olives (Linwood Grill) and they are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but they have nothing on deep fried pickles. The ones in the picture above are on the menu at Cambridge Common on Mass Ave – really not a place worth traveling to, except for the aforementioned deep fried genius.

The pickle spears are battered and deep fried, served blazing hot with a side of chipotle mayonnaise (they call it aioli but face it, it's mayo) and ranch dressing. The pickles are a perfect combination of textures and flavors – the batter is crisp on the outside but gives to some chewiness, the pickles are (obviously) salty, juicy, and still a bit crunchy, the salt balances with the subtle sweetness of the batter. The ranch dressing is pointless, as always, but the spicy and slightly smoky chipotles in the mayonnaise elevate the deep fried pickles to status of the best deep fried thing I have ever had. With a pint of Oktoberfest from Nashoba brewery, the deep fried pickles were my salvation from a weekend in lab.

Cambridge Common
1667 Mass Ave (Harvard Square)
Cambridge MA 02138


JC said...

Deep fried pickles are pretty good, but just a bit salty for my taste. My fav fried item is still okra. Worst fried item - Oreos.

Anna said...

I love Oreos with an unnatural passion. Not so much with the deep frying? That's too bad.
There is no place to get fried okra around here (but it sounds awesome), nor Oreos, for that matter. Bostonites lack creativity in what they throw in the deep fryer :)

JC said...

Yeah, down here we'll deep fry anything that can't run away fast enough.

The problem with the fried Oreos is that they basically become mush. I'm guessing that has something to do with being submerged in boiling oil? :) To me the crunchiness of the cookie is essential to the Oreo experience.

They've got this crazy fascination nowadays at the State Fair of Texas where they deep fry all these dessert items - twinkies, Oreos, marshmallows, Snickers bars. This year they're going to have fried Coke and fried pralines. It's really gotten out of hand I think. I was actually looking for the Snickers last year and had to settle for the Oreos.

You can't get fried okra in Boston? That's a crime I tell you!

Sorry, didn't mean to write a novel here!

ben said...

MMmm sounds good. Texas sounds a lot like MN, offense lol When I went to the Mall of America, they had pretty much any sort of food that you may want to eat fried, fried. A lot of these things seem to be like tempura, my favorite is shrimp that is battered and then fried. After that, I would say I loved battered and fried green beans (TGIF and tempura varieties. I just got back from TGIF and those beans are awesome. Fried Mac and Cheese, not so much. ).

amanda said...

I LOVE fried pickles! there are a long time favorite in louisiana, but here in california i can't find them anywhere. i worked at a restaurant where we made them by dipping them in buttermilk then in a corn-flake/special k crumb blend. OMG that is good eats.

JC said...

I forgot to mention that I have actually made fried okra at home before. If I can do it, I know you can do it!

Anna said...

I am ashamed to admit this, I really am. I am scared of frying. I have never done it myself - something about a gallon of oil in my kitchen makes me light headed. I am working through my phobias though! Fried pickles and fried okra are at the top of my to do list. Right under "buy a fire extinguisher and a treadmill."

Amanda - Thank you for coming by! Your blog is absolutely gorgeous.