It’s no secret that pickles come in a wide variety of flavors and styles. From dill and gherkin to sweet and even spicy, the zingy snacks are one of the more versatile side dishes in popular cuisine.
One thing you probably would never expect, though, is a cotton candy pickle. But it’s 2021 people, and this strange mash-up of textures and flavors is available in Columbus.
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And it’s a local sweet shop that’s going sour, as Clintonville-based Libby Lou’s Fun Factory—located at 3039 Indianola Ave—has begun offering the Cotton Candy Pickle Challenge. This means for $3 you too can take on a cotton-candy wrapped pickle.
“My shave ice distributor sells marinated Kool-Aid pickles. This got me wondering what it would taste like to wrap a pickle in something else that’s really sweet, like cotton candy,” said owner Tara Becker. “So we tried it out to see how it would taste.”
At this point, I’m sure a lot of you are thinking that this challenge exists as a fun way to get a friend to eat something crazy and disgusting. But here’s the thing: according to Becker and her employees, the cotton candy pickles she sells are actually really good.
“Honestly, it’s just like eating a sweet pickle,” Becker said. “I mean, it’s five year-old tested and approved. My God daughter has to be one of the pickiest eaters ever. She’ll rarely try anything, and even she liked it.”
Once the initial shock of seeing a green pickle cocooned in a thick layer of bright-blue cotton candy wears off, the challenge is really just a unique riff on the classic sweet pickle.
Cotton candy, aside from food coloring, is made entirely of sugar that’s spun into threads. Similarly, many recipes, like sweet pickles, incorporate large amounts of sugar, blending together sweet and sour flavors.
But for Becker, the challenge isn’t just a fun, attention-grabbing tool. It’s also able to push people outside their comfort zone in a way that’s unique and ultimately rewarding.
“I wouldn’t exactly say it is a challenge like a competition,” she said. “It’s meant to get people to think outside the box, to come try something that doesn’t really sound great, but ends up actually tasting good.”
If you like this, read: Where to find the best riffs on s’mores