*Photo from Wickles’ website, Sims Foods.
I’ve gone to school in the country for a while now, and one thing I’ve noticed is that there’s a great proliferation of Cracker Barrel restaurants. You can recognize the sign from a mile away, but when you get there it legitimately looks like something you may have seen on the Oregon Trail. It’s the only establishment I’ve ever seen from the interstate that manages to be both mainstream and interesting at the same time.
You can purchase all kinds of ugly sweaters and wooden gadgets from the Old Country Store in the front, but the most appealing thing is these tangy slices of greatness: Wickles Pickles. They start out sweet, end up spicy, and contain enough garlic to carve out ten spots ahead of you in line. There are two red jalapeno peppers in each jar. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted any pickles even remotely like these.
I should note that Wickles registered as being more chemical as time went on. The first few times I thought they were the wholesome product of a small company that got recognized, but then I poured the pickle juice down the drain when I was finished and I realized that it was the exact same color as Carnal Flower. It doesn’t smell terribly unlike the latter either. But Wickles are still great despite the fact that, judged purely as food, they are more closely related to their highway contemporaries than I’m comfortable with.
Nothing makes me happier than regular people doing something they really want to do that other people are willing to pay them for. And Sims Foods is an inspiring success judging from the down-home copy on the label. From Dadeville, Alabama it brought forth a small group of products that are both distinctive and good, which is more than most companies can do.