Sunday, August 27, 2006

Mantia's Pickles--The Secret Revealed

We get so many requests for our pickles, and sometimes folks get a little testy when we won't sell them. We make them here, and we just don't have enough room to make more than we do now. This isn't a secret recipe; it is in most of the community cookbooks in the South, as Fire and Ice, Good and Evil, or Sweet and Hot.

Here is what you do: Got to Sam's or Costco and pick up a gallon jar of whole dill pickles. Dump them in a colander and drain them, discarding the liquid. Cut them as you prefer. We do chunks here, but at home I like to do some of them in slices, because I like them so well on sandwiches.

Anyway, besides the pickles you need two pounds of white sugar, 1/4 cup of garlic, peeled and very finely minced (we do ours in the Cuisinart) and a small bottle of Tobasco sauce. Some recipes call for also adding pickling spices, but we don't.

Now, in the original jar, layer some of the pickles, some of the sugar, some of the garlic and a few sprinkles of Tobasco. Repeat until everything is used up (we only use the equivalent of about half the small bottle of Tobasco for this quantity).

Put the top on tightly and keep in a cool dark spot (no need to refrigerate) for at least two weeks, turning upside down every couple of days. They keep just fine at room temperature, but chill before eating for the best texture.

That's it!


Anonymous said...

My mother and I have made the pickles, and plan on giving them as Christmas presents- we do not, however, know anything about canning. Is it necessary to preserve them through an air tight canning method, or can we just keep them regrigerated, and a note on the pickles that says "Keep refrigerated. Use by a certain date"? Please help! Thank you!

Alyce said...

Doro, they keep perfectly well at room temperature as long as all the pickles are covered with the liquid. They do taste MUCH better chilled, though. They keep well so I don't think a "use by" date would be necessary. Certainly not around here where folks fight over them!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the response. One more question- I seem to be running out of pickle juice. The pickles don't settle as well in the smaller mason jars. Any tips here?

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...


In the pickle recipe:

You say to discard the pickle juice, and layer the pickles with sugar, garlic, and mention of using any other liquid. Do I add water? Vinegar?

Thanks, Steve

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your reipe..i called Mantia's and asked 4 it a long time ago and one of the girls said when I come back in you would probably share..I always stop in Mantia's everytime I come to Memphis. I live in Blytheville.Thank you so much again, and I will be stopping in soon to have a turkey sandwich and your DELICIOUS sweet pickles..

Pam said...

I'm finally reunited with these great pickles! So nice to talk to you at Southward last night, Alice! I'm happy to get into your blog as I too love food, drink, and travel!

Jena Becnel said...

I asked her about adding additional liquid and she said that the sugar will pull enough liquid out of the pickles so no additional liquid is needed.

Jena Becnel said...

I am making another jar of pickles but I don't have any Tabasco so I am using Cajun seasonings. I'll let you know how it turns out!