Why Are They Called Bread and Butter Pickles?

We were thinking about running a special on our Bread and Butter Squash today for you all, which got us thinking…how come that flavor is called bread and butter? Turns out there’s an interesting story behind it. 

According to Katie Baker, the tale begins in Streator, Illinois, with Omar and Cora Fanning, a couple who turned adversity into opportunity. The Fannings, known for raising cucumbers, found themselves in a tough spot one season. Whether the weather was bad, or the economy was tough, I don’t know, but apparently they had a lot of undersized cucumbers. In a stroke of resourcefulness, Mr. Fanning decided to utilize those small cucumbers, previously considered waste, to create a side business. 

The Fannings' pickles were not just a hit; they became a phenomenon. Mrs. Fanning was able to barter these pickles with her local grocer for essentials like bread and butter – a practice that gave this unique pickle its name. Marketed as both "old-fashioned" and the "latest thing," their popularity surged from the Midwest to the South, where they remain a beloved staple.

The significance of bread and butter pickles goes beyond their unique taste. As Joe Baker from Greeneville, Tennessee, recalls, during times when preservation was key, anything sweetened and preserved was a treat. Bread and butter pickles, with their delightful mix of sweetness and tang, became a coveted addition to meals, especially for those who could only afford cheaper cuts of meat. 

The sweet and sour flavor is a great addition to a traditional southern meal, such as fried pork chops with black-eyed peas and cornbread.

I guess you could say that our Bread and Butter Squash is also “old-fashioned” and the “latest thing.” Using squash instead of cucumbers adds a delightful twist to this traditional pickle.

If you’ve never tried them, you really should!

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