Pickle Tasting Party

by Marian
(Maine)

One of our popular activities is to have a pickle tasting party. Especially if you have people in your group who make pickles (or know how to). And we don't limit ourselves to just the cucumber type pickles either!

Many senior groups have members who make (or used to make) pickles as a hobby or family tradition. Otherwise, there are lots of various kinds you can get at grocery stores and gourmet shops. We use both dill and sweet types. And of course there are all kinds of other pickled items, such as peppers, olives, tomatoes, also sauerkraut and even watermelon, eggs, and herring. Anything pickled goes! So lay out your table with a big variety, or you can even have another pickle party for the more unusual kinds.

What we do for a pickle tasting party is lay out the various pickles or pickled products for tasting on plates, along with a variety of crackers. If you're going to do a beverage, beer always seems to work well! We have a little sign along side each plate telling what kind of pickle it is. When people bring in their own recipes for tasting, they also have a recipe card by the plate to share it. And make sure you do some fun decorating - green is always a good color!

There's something about pickles that seniors really enjoy, maybe the "old world" feel and traditions - and a pickle tasting party makes good conversation too.

We've also had a local vendor from a specialty store come in who specializes in pickles and has a lot of information about making them. Various countries make pickled products different ways, and it's interesting to learn about it - i.e. the German traditions. There may be people in your group who have made them at home in the past who can tell about it too. About their families and cultures and how they made them. It's a really fun show and tell kind of activity.

We try to have a pickle tasting party every year and its' always a big hit. People come and go and move around on our campus, so there is always someone new that wasn't here last year, so it is always popular. I highly recommend having one if you're looking for something unique (and foody) to do. Food activities are always well attended it seems.

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