“Tropickles” have made their grand entrance at Walmart this summer, and they have inspired some mixed reactions. While Tropickles have developed a loyal following, many are still puzzled by the unconventional combination of fruit punch and vinegar. Sweet and sour can be fantastic partners, though — these could be perfect to complement a rich rack of ribs or for anyone who likes very sweet pickles in general.
Combining fruit punch and pickles is actually a much more a popular thing to do than you might think, especially in the South, where the majority of these pickles are being sold. We’ve seen an evolution in pickles recently. In the last five years, pickles have popped up as garnishes at quite a few high end restaurants, whereas before, the only pickle you'd expect to see was that slice of kosher dill that accompanied your cheese sandwich. Farmers markets have also jumped on the popular pickle bandwagon, serving up more gourmet, artisanal, odd-flavored pickles using everything from carrots to beets.
When pickling, people usually use something along the lines of three parts water to one part vinegar, with a much smaller amount of sugar to taste. Walmart’s concoction, on the other hand, tastes more like straight sugar with a dash of vinegar — or like sweet nectar from the gods, depending on your perspective!
The cousin of our blessed “tropickle” is no less than the “koolickle” — another version of this phenomenon but made with Kool-Aid. If you managed to get through your bliss-filled jar of the Walmart version, these could be the next logical step.
Walmart admits to getting the fruit punch pickle from the internet, attributing its name to social media. "The modern-day couple, the pickle and fruit punch met on social media (they bonded over recipes on Pinterest, to be exact); now, we are celebrating their union on Walmart store shelves," the store said in a statement.