I Was Brave Enough to Taste Claussen Pickle Jelly Beans — and the Internet Was Right About Them

published Mar 23, 2024
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Claussen Pickle Flavor Jelly Beans
Credit: Andrea Rivera Wawrzyn

What if I told you that you could experience the joys of eating a pickle … in candy form? (Hello, are you still there?) 

When our Editor-in-Chief, Lindsay, asked if anyone on The Kitchn team was brave enough to try the new pickle-flavored jelly beans from Claussen I put my hand up right away. I am a well-documented pickle-lover, and although pickle candy sounded like it might be a bridge too far, I was eager to cross it. Savory and sweet flavors go very well together (I’m looking at you, potato chip cookies) and, besides, I’ve eaten weirder things. Onward.

My Honest Review of Claussen Pickle Flavor Jelly Beans

These jelly beans are a wild ride. The folks at Frankford and Claussen deliver on the promise of pickle candy. The jelly beans taste like what I imagine it would taste like to dip a pickle in sugar and then eat it. The pickle flavor really comes through, but then it’s also very, very sweet. It simply was not for me.

I can think of two ways this might have worked better. They could have leaned into the flavor of a bread and butter pickle, which is already a bit sweet, as opposed to opting for the dill variety. On the other hand, they could have just as easily let the savoriness of the pickle shine even more and possibly wound up with something more balanced. 

In my book, the gold standard of savory-food-to-candy crossovers is Jellybelly’s Buttered Popcorn jelly bean. They’re a perfect blend of the buttery, distinctly savory flavor of movie theater popcorn, but a little bit sweet — almost like squishy kettle corn. Hats off.

In any case, if you’re in the market for something slightly off kilter to add to your Easter basket this year, this is a great option (and if you have any other unexpected-flavored candy suggestions, please leave them in the comments!). Despite my struggle with the flavor, I keep going back for more and the bag is now half-empty. You can’t keep a pickle gal down.