It’s National Pickle Day!
Maybe you put these briny cucumbers on sandwiches, or burgers.
Maybe you snack on them on their own.
If you’re a Texan, you might order a few up when you go to the movies.
If you’re not a Texan, you may be surprised to know that this has been a tradition in the Lone Star State and a number of other southern states for decades.
The idea may have come from Texas’s population of German immigrants.
Theaters in Germany have long encouraged audiences to eat their way through the concession stand, including pickles, dating back to the days of operas and symphonies.
So it may be that theaters in Texas realized that their customers of German origin expected pickles at the snack bar, and were happy to accommodate.
They are, after all, a pretty good bet for proprietors, because not only do the people who love pickles really love them, they’re relatively inexpensive and long-lasting.
Unlike popcorn, which can go stale pretty quickly, a pickle that goes unsold today can go back into the jar for tomorrow.
Several other southern states beyond Texas picked up on the trend, too, but it hasn’t apparently spread much further.
And even in the places where pickles are well-ensconced in the moviegoing experience, there has been a backlash of sorts.
The Dallas Morning News reported in 1954 on how one theater had refused to sell pickles, or even popcorn.
This was one of the theaters that would use scents in the ventilation system during certain movies to enhance the experience for the audience.
The theater people said that if they were piping in the smells of roses during a love scene, they didn’t want those viewers’ noses to get distracted by pickles.
You may have heard the old line about how sometimes searching for something elusive is like trying to find a needle in a haystack?
Around this time in 2014, Italian artist Sven Sachsalber decided to test that metaphor.
He had the president of a Paris museum hide one silver needle in a giant stack of hay and 24 hours to find it.
It took him 18 hours, but he got there.
Why are pickles sold at the movies? Curious Texas investigates (Dallas Morning News)
Man Finds Needle In Haystack (Modern Farmer)