activity

Bread-and-butter pickles are a perfect match for sandwiches, burgers, and even barbecue. Do all brands strike the same balance of sweet and sour? Find out with this taste test!

safety
  • No safety considerations
difficulty
  • Beginner
time
  • 20 minutes

hey curious cook—

Have you heard about our Young Chefs’ Club? Members get a themed (and kid-tested) box delivered each month!

Prepare Ingredients

2–3 different brands
bread-and-butter pickles
1 per person
glass of water
2 per person
unsalted, plain crackers (or 1 slice white sandwich bread per person)

Gather Equipment

1 per person + 1 extra
sheets of paper
1 per person
marker, pen, or pencil
1 per person
Tasting Pickles scoring sheet
1 per person
small bowl
1
 

Today, you and your friends or family are going to practice being professional tasters. You’ll taste different brands of pickles and determine which one is your favorite by rating them based on their flavor and texture.

 
2
 
2–3 different brands
bread-and-butter pickles

Ask an adult—or a friend or family member—to be the Tasting Organizer. This is an important job! They will be in charge of setting up the tasting. The Tasting Organizer should:

  • Assign a number to each brand of pickles.
  • Write down the numbers and the brand names on a separate piece of paper to keep track of them.
 
3
 

Give each taster 1 sheet of blank paper and a marker or pen. Have each taster use their marker or pen to divide the paper into the same number of sections as brands of pickles you’ll be tasting. Label the sections “Sample 1,” “Sample 2,” and so on, depending on how many samples you have.

 
4
 
1 per person
glass of water
2 per person
unsalted, plain crackers (or 1 slice white sandwich bread per person)

Meanwhile, give each taster a glass of water and 2 crackers or a slice of sandwich bread—these will help cleanse your palate between tastes.

 
5
 

The Tasting Organizer should give each taster 2 or 3 slices of each brand of pickles on their sheet of paper, placing slices of the first brand under “Sample 1,” slices of the second brand under “Sample 2,” and so on. (You probably want to put the pickles in small bowls, since they’re wet.)

 
6
 

Finally, give each person a copy of the Tasting Pickles scoring sheet.

 
7
 

Time to taste!

  • Taste the samples one at a time, taking 1 or 2 small bites.
  • Chew slowly, and take sips of water and bites of cracker or bread in between samples.
  • What did each sample taste like? Was it sweet? Sour? Salty?
  • What was the texture of each sample like? Was it crisp? Soft? Chewy? Hard? Rubbery? Give each sample a Flavor Score and a Texture Score. Remember: A higher score means you liked it more!
 
8
 

Calculate the Overall Score for each pickle sample by adding up its Flavor and Texture Scores.

 
9
 

Time to pick a winner! Which of your samples had the highest Overall Score? That’s your winning pickle. Look at the key (made by the Tasting Organizer) to see which brand matches your winning sample.

Remember, the Tasting Organizer assigned each sample a number before you started the tasting—use that sheet here.

 
10
 

Remember, the Tasting Organizer assigned each sample a number before you started the tasting—use that sheet here.