Gherkins or Dills with that Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, madam?
November 13, 2006 6:44 AM   Subscribe

You know that old cliché about pregnant women and the ice cream and pickles? Are the pickles dill or sweet?
posted by gleuschk to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My pregnant sister-in-law got super-sensitive to dill, to the point that she wouldn't eat a quiche because it was made with a teaspoon or two...

Hopefully a real live mother can weigh in.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:50 AM on November 13, 2006

From experience, it differs by person.
For many, it is the desire to taste strong flavors, the sour of the pickling brine being most important, not the type of pickle.
posted by Seamus at 6:58 AM on November 13, 2006

Oh they are dill, baby. Crunchy, salty, garlicky dill. I ate a jar every 1-2 days in my second trimester. I craved ice cream too, but I never ate them together.
posted by textilephile at 6:58 AM on November 13, 2006

I never ate pickles and ice cream but craved bread and butter pickles stacked with extra sharp cheddar cheese.
posted by hollygoheavy at 7:04 AM on November 13, 2006

You know, in most countries, pickles are just pickles.

More helpfully I think that example is mainly a cliche analogy for weird food cravings. Undoubtedly - where able to draw the distinction - people crave both or either or neither, with or without ice cream.

I'm not sure if you're looking to see if there is a "magic ingredient" behind pregnancy cravings. If so, it is unlikely (although there is some speculation that cravings are a manifestation of the body's need for some particular substances eg salt).
posted by bifter at 7:06 AM on November 13, 2006

Dill. No doubt. Actually, I could have chugged vinegar straight from the bottle, hold the pickle. But the pickle did make a handy vinegar transport mechanism.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:33 AM on November 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

It's not just a cliche; sour foods can help to quell nausea.
posted by redfoxtail at 7:43 AM on November 13, 2006

Micronutrients, vitamins, essential elements, etc.

In Kyrgyzstan, the stereotypical thing that pregnant women want to eat is chalk.
posted by Brave New Meatbomb at 8:10 AM on November 13, 2006

In Kyrgyzstan, the stereotypical thing that pregnant women want to eat is chalk.

Pregnant women sometimes crave/eat chalk/dirt around the world, particularly in Africa. CDC has an interesting article on it.
posted by n'muakolo at 8:33 AM on November 13, 2006

You know, in most countries, pickles are just pickles.

I know what you mean because I've been to the UK, bifter.

For those of you who had no idea what he meant:

In the UK, "pickle" refers to any kind of pickled thing (although it invariably corresponds to what we in the States would think of as a kind of relish). In contrast, in Americans pickle almost always means a pickled cucumber, so much so that the species used (a small, thin skinned cucumber) is known as a pickler. In the UK, cucumber pickles are few and far between, and when you come across them they are only ever the bread and butter variety. There are no sour pickles in the UK (yes, yes, UKers. I know to you they're sour. But, trust me, compared to Dill, they're sweet).

In the States, for anything else pickled that isn't a cucumber, the correct nomenclature is "pickled x" where x is commonly watermelon, green tomatoes, peppers, eggs, and the occasional pig's feet.

And of course, Indian pickle is totally different than the UK variety, leading me to believe that pickles are like every other food -- they're different in every country, and the most common variety in that country is what everyone there considers "normal". If you order "cheese" in the US you're going to get American or maybe Cheddar, if you order "fromage" in France you're probably going to get brie or camembert.

So, in every country, including the US, pickles are just pickles.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:38 AM on November 13, 2006

My mom ate tons of sour pickles with me and with my sister she ate tons of strawberry ice cream. But never both together. And a friend's grandma said she craved drywall. bizzare!
posted by nimsey lou at 8:45 AM on November 13, 2006

This can be an indication of a mineral deficiency. In extreme cases, this is called pica.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:57 AM on November 13, 2006

Dill all the way, baby. I'm 21 weeks in, and my personal preference has been for the little pickles - cornichons.

I have no craving for ice cream. But avocados....mmmm....that's a different story.
posted by netsirk at 9:10 AM on November 13, 2006

I second netsirk, and offer a proxy third: My also-pregnant friend and I agree that pregnancy makes dill pickles magically delicious.

Ice cream, however, is just ice cream, and the thought of having the two together is totally repugnant.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 9:20 AM on November 13, 2006

Pickles never did it for me, but I couldn't stop with the smoked eel.
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:16 AM on November 13, 2006

I'd always assumed dill pickles, it never crossed my mind it could be anything different!

Concur with it being just shorthand for "weird cravings," though (not to say it isn't literally true for some people, but for sure it isn't for most people.) In my experience, the first time around, I wanted fresh plums, which... not so easy to find in November. The second time, I was all about celery and ice chips, which are blessedly in easy supply all the year around.
posted by Andrhia at 10:26 AM on November 13, 2006

For me it was dill relish with nacho cheese. Ice cream was a separate craving (Black Walnut).
posted by LadyBonita at 10:51 AM on November 13, 2006

This is my second pregnancy...with my first I craved ice cream and never pickles. Also, cinnamon toast crunch cereal. My doctor told me that the cinnamon isn't actually a weird craving as it could really be a sign my body was warding off gestational diabetes.

Now at 22 weeks, pickles aren't so much the thing...but give me an olive any day.
posted by Gooney at 11:04 AM on November 13, 2006

I think my mom said it was all about the hot, salty french fries dipped into the chocolate milkshake when she was pregnant with me. I think she also had pickle cravings, but separately from the ice cream.
posted by xiojason at 2:14 PM on November 13, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody. I know it's not strictly a cliche or old wives' tale, but I was mostly curious about people's interpretations of the cliche, as opposed to their experiences (though of course the experiences are relevant!). Talking with my wife last night, we discovered that I'd always assumed the pickles involved were sweet gherkins, while she'd always assumed they were dills. (Neither of us has any first-hand experience here.) Entirely coincidentally, I love the little sweet ones and hate dill, while she's the other way round.
posted by gleuschk at 2:15 PM on November 13, 2006

Definitely dill. Salty & sour flavors were all I wanted - pickles, olives, lemons, potato chips, feta cheese.

One night when I was about 11 weeks pregnant I was eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream and out of the blue thought to myself, "you know, this would probably be pretty good with pickles." But I didn't actually try it....
posted by belladonna at 5:16 PM on November 13, 2006

My wife had to go outside and barf because we walked through the pickle section of an open air Beijing market the other day. The pickles were not dilly nor sweet.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:01 PM on November 13, 2006

Mrs. Plinth was all about grapefruit in her first pregnancy. I'm talking 5 pounds worth in a day.

In the current pregnancy, it's...pickles! Really crunchy, small Kosher style pickles.
posted by plinth at 6:15 AM on November 14, 2006

Klausen's Dill pickles in the first trimester. Bacon avocado cheesburgers with fries and a vanilla milkshake in the second trimester. Watermelon in the third trimester.
posted by echolalia67 at 12:38 PM on December 9, 2006

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