What Makes Great Dill Pickle Spears?

Texture contributes the more important attributes to a High Quality Dill Pickle. The pickles are crunchy and juicy. The skin is not too chewy and the seed/pulp section at the pickle’s interior is not too mushy. The pickle flesh is tender. There is slight astringency and mouth puckering, the pickle has a moderate length of dissolve.

The flavor profile can vary by manufacturer but leads with a moderately high vinegar note followed by a moderate cucumber note. Dill and pickling spices, such as coriander seed, are at low-moderate intensity. There may be a low garlic note. The ridged chip slices may have a sweet pickle relish note.

For their taste profile, the pickles have moderately high sour and moderate salt. There may be low sweet and/or bitter.

The pickles have a dark, olive green exterior with a pale green flesh. The interior seed/pulp portion of the pickle is intact. The pickles look juicy. Shapes may be ridged chips or lengthwise spears. It is especially important that the seed/pulp portion of the spears is intact and not stringy or breaking apart. The seeds will vary in size.

Tasting terms

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • salt

    One of the basic tastes; tasting of or containing salt. Example: Potato chips, sea water and cured meats all have a strong salt component.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • sour

    One of the basic tastes; often considered sharp, tart and acidic. Example: Lemon juice, vinegar and fermented foods often have a strong sour component.

  • astringency

    The tendency of some foods to cause the mouth to pucker; often associated with the presence of tannins or acidity. Example: Red wine, tea, grapefruit juice and pickles can be astringent.