The other night I was at my friend’s bar, the Parish Publick House, in Santa Cruz. Knowing the aspiring foodie that I am, she insisted that I try one of the Parish favorites, the deep fried pickle. As strange as it sounds, this was like the third time that I had heard of this delicacy that week. Of course, I’m always down to try anything. As soon as my friend served us the plate, she said, “you should wait until they cool down, they are better.” Famous last words. I was fucking starving, and my beer needed a savory accompaniment. At first impression, I thought the tastes were very segregated. I could taste the hot, crispy, golden batter cooled with a plunge in the ranch dressing, and separately, the steaming pickled cucumber. But the flavors were not united. I thought this was strange because I felt like I could give or take either one; either have something battered and fried or eat a pickle (minds out of the gutter, friends). However, after satisfying my initial appetite, I managed to slow down and let the last pickle on the platter cool down a bit before urging it’s demise. When I ate the last one, I understood why my friend had said what she did about letting them rest. Tasting a steaming-hot pickle is not the best flavor, but once the pickle cools down, and the batter is just slightly cooler, the spicy, salty, herbal, milky flavors somehow managed to congeal into one lovely morsel, leaving me yearning for more. Lesson: definitely order deep fried pickles again to take for another spin, but do so when I’ve got a moment to let them breathe and allow the diversity of flavors unify. Power to the pickle.