Today in 2007, the New York Times published a feature story on one of the premiere issues of the day: Kool Aid pickles.

These became especially popular among Black residents of the Mississippi Delta, but they have been showing up in other parts of the country too.

And the idea is as straightforward as it sounds: take some dill pickles and put them in a jar filled not with brine but with Kool-Aid, and let time do the rest.

It’s related to a longstanding tradition in the South of putting pickles on peppermint sticks.

The Kool-Aid, like the peppermint, infuses the salty, sour pickles with a sweet taste.

The Kool-Aid pickles even change color!

Some of the people who were brewing these up at home started selling them to neighbors and friends, or sometimes at school fundraisers.

And while not everybody was looking to add tropical fruit flavor to a fermented cucumber, the pickles got such a big reaction from others that some stores started making and selling them too.

Fans started coming up with their own variations: instead of using a plain wooden stick like the ones on popsicles or corn dogs, one fan attached the Kool Aid pickle to a Blow Pop, which sounds like a whole galaxy’s worth of flavor combinations.

Others add salt to balance out the Kool-Aid a little more, and there have been reports in the other direction, where kids cover their Kool-Aid pickles with the sugar from Pixie sticks.

Now all of this could have ended up in the courts, if Kool-Aid’s parent company had decided combining their product with pickles had infringed on their trademark or reflected badly on their brand.

Instead, a spokesperson told the New York Times (reportedly after a pause) that “We endorse our consumers’ finding innovative ways to use our products.”

North Yorkshire, England has been in some serious discombobulation over punctuation lately.

Officials there say that to avoid issues with their geographic computer systems, their street signs will henceforth have no apostrophes, even if the name of the street has an apostrophe!

One resident told the BBC: “I think we should be using apostrophes. If you start losing things like that then everything goes downhill doesn’t it?”

A Sweet So Sour: Kool-Aid Dills (New York Times)

North Yorkshire Council to phase out apostrophe use on street signs (BBC)

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Photo by Todd Van Hoosear via Flickr/Creative Commons