If you drop a cucumber into the vinegar tail-first instead of head-first, you can actually hear it scream. Pickled cucumbers are an atrocity, victims of gratuitous violence, preserved indefinitely in an undead state in which they mindlessly reach out and infect all the other foods on the plate with their necrotic stink.
Mind you, the basic idea is ingenious. Take the summer’s perishable foods and dunk them in acid or salty brine so you can eat them long after their natural lives would have expired. Same idea as squirting lemon juice over your cut apples so they don’t brown. Food preserved with other food. Clever.
The Japanese have shown that some roots pickle quite nicely – daikon radish, for example, or ginger. And Louisiana hot sauce is your basic pickled pepper – cayenne or red, dried, ground up and soaked in vinegar. Tasty.
Somewhere along the line, somebody took this elegant concept, tried it on a cucumber, and apparently thought it was good.
But it isn’t.