Friday, July 11, 2008

Furtive Pickles

What: Van Holten's Kosher Pickle
When: July 11th
Where: Winnipeg
Cost: $1.29

While going through security at the airport yesterday the guard held open my purse and asked if I had a drink or something inside. Before checking in I had done a quick perusal of the contents of my (admittedly huge and over-stuffed) bag and didn't find any bottles, so I peered past her hands to see what she was talking about.

"Oh, no." I said, "I'm sorry, it's just a pickle."

But not just any pickle. A huge, mutant pickle, floating in brine inside a plastic pouch like an embalmed cucumber fetus. I kept seeing them in gas stations across America but was always inevitably stopped from buying one by disapproving band members.

Once, while perusing the gargantuan pickle selection I looked up to see Bobby just silently shaking his head at me. When Allison would catch me lingering too long in the pickle aisle she would yell, "Don't buy it, you know what it's going to taste like!"

But eventually I couldn't resist the allure of the monster pickle, so I snuck into a gas station sometime near the end of our last American tour and secretly bought the biggest pickle I could find.

For some unknown reason I didn't eat the pickle right away. Instead I carried it around with me like a hidden talisman, all the way back to London and then onto an airplane headed for Winnipeg. Alas, I feared my garlicky good luck charm would not last another trip, so I was forced to eat it this afternoon.

I broke open the pouch, poured out the juice with only a small amount of spillage, and took a big bite. It tasted like a pickle.

A pickle that had been softened by the insides of my purse and the disgusted but tender proddings of an airport security agent. The skin was extremely tough and leathery and the whole thing reminded me of a regular pickle that had somehow escaped being eaten and been left to grow into its natural old age.

Thus ends my brief infatuation with gas station pickles and begins yet another round of dining on questionable convenience store food. We are without our van for all these upcoming festival dates (and therefore will not be frequenting many gas stations) but I will do my best to sample the finest oddities Winnipeg, Dawson City and Calgary have to offer.




Sean Wraight said...

Every band has them... Recognizing them though is another matter. Could the 'Furtive Pickle' possibly be your first Spinal Tap moment?

Just curious.

Great post!


smileeanne said...

that is both ridiculously disgusting and ridiculously enticing, all at once.

i guess that's the point.


i mean mmm

oh god i'm so confused.

emily said...

holly.. i gather you're flying to dawson from whitehorse then? sad. if you drive up you can hit braeburn lodge, a gas station/restaurant/motorcycle destination/bakery. biggest cinnamon buns you'll ever see. i may have to pick one up for you. see you at the palace grand...

Tanya Gwen Minnick said...

That is some crazy packaged pickle!! lol
how is the tour going?? your out with DeVotchka right?? they are awesome and wonderful
hope its all going well!

Blogstrong said...

I'm sure that in 1898, when the Van Holten family began the labour of love (that for them was an age old pickle recipe smuggled out of eastern Poland), this is what they foresaw?

We saw you play in Toronto, at what was my 3 year-old daughter's first concert. Rock & Roll!
She loved it, and we were pleased that all the songs she wanted to hear most were at the front of the set before she crashed. :)

Eric said...

I suppose the 'since 1898' could just as plausibly refer to the date of its manufacturing

what a journey that pickle has had

visit sounds around said...

quiet since the pickles...
didnt see you at the highline last night. hope it wasnt one pickle too many

Allison said...

Stop being such a wiener and post some more reviews, you wiener. Quit wienering around and just do it.


The Winner (not wiener)

Jenna said...

I like how it's labelled as "snack on the run." this blog is awesome.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. I am a foodie and restaurantauer in Oregon. However, I do love a gas station deep-fried BBQ beef burrito and I highly recommend them. Greasy, sweet, chewy - the texture reminds me of one of my dogs pig ear chewy bones. which can be kind of good when you aint got nothin else in the cupboard. lol Every gas station has their own version of deep fried, but ya gotta check em out.

girl said...

dammit. haha. I giggled....