God bless Bernell "Fatman" Austin for being a man brimming with plenty of brine-y bravado.
According to legend, the proprietor of Atkins, Arkansas' Duchess Drive-In was the first person to plunge a pickle into a deep-fat fryer.
Austin's dill-y of an idea -- which occurred in 1963 -- caused an immediate sensation. And we've been going gaga for greasy Gherkins for more than 50 years.
But fried pickles are no longer synonymous with county fairs. Nope, these puckers-producers have been making a comeback as mainstream munchies.
Have you been to a sports bar lately? Chances are you've see some battered-up breads and butters turning up on the appetizer menu.
And rumor has it that a new restaurant called The Pickle Guys will be opening up in New York's trendy Lower East Side. Their entire menu will have fried okra, fried tomatoes, fried mushrooms and, you guessed it, fried pickles.
As a way to celebrate to National Pickle Appreciation Day on Tuesday, Weekender's intrepid team of taste testers have taken to the streets of Sioux City. We've been cramming our pickle-y pieholes with a crazy assortment of Kosher cornichons as a way to discover who had the most delicious deep-fried pickle in town.
Ickey Nickel Bar & Grill
4700 41st St. Sioux City
First impression: On paper, Ickey Nickel's jalapeno-and-beer-battered spear of deep-fried would be a winner. However, this dill was so limp, even Viagra couldn't bring it back to life. Perhaps, it was the fault of an overheated deep fryer but these pub pickles lost most of their batter as soon as they cooled off. This was a shame since these were some extra-large dills.
Our take on the taste: Sadly, no batter meant no taste. We ended up with one flappy, freaky looking pickle with a little plastic container of Ranch dipping sauce.
Final score: 2.5 out of a possible score of five.
Clyde's Grill & Pub
3828 Stadium Drive, Sioux City
First impression: We've always thought that Clyde's Grill & Pub is underrated. After all, can a sports bar inside a bowling place actually be any good? We think so, since Clyde's fare has always been flavorful and surprisingly upscale. Its fried pickles were no exception. These spears had a terrific look and an intoxicating aroma.
Our take on the taste: Fried pickles need to have plenty of snap, even after a bath inside a deep fryer. These pickles had pop but they could've had a sharper taste. They were good but we were looking for great.
Final score: Three out of possible score of five.
Crispy fried pickles
Soho Kitchen & Bar
1024 Fourth St. Sioux City
First impression: Soho's take on deep-fried pickles easily won our thump test. That means there was very little give when we gave these dills a shakedown. Plus the batter gave the pickles a nice brown coloring. So far, we're impressed.
Our take on the taste: Are deep-fried pickles healthy? Hell to the nah! But we'd risk life and limb for this oily appetizer. Soho's deep fried pickles made us pucker up in the best way possible. We wanted to kiss these cucumbers because they were so delicious.
Final score: 4.5 out of a possible score of five.