Longtime BFFs Sara Doherty (above left) and Britt Jungerberg (above right) used to spend time in each other’s kitchens, cooking, eating, and enjoying each other’s families. But as young children entered the picture and life got more hectic, they turned away from elaborate meals and homed in on snacking. Specifically, dips and things you can dip in them.
Rather than relying on store-bought dips, they began experimenting with their own. Starting with a base of cream cheese, pureed white beans, and various pickled vegetables, they eventually refined several flavors and decided to make a business out of it. Their line of products, Darling Pickle Dips ($7 each, or 4 for $24), launched in 2016 and is available at a number of farmers markets in the metro.
These dips are a fun update on traditional chip dips. The cream cheese gives them a tart richness, while the pureed beans add some heft and a slightly chunkier texture than is normally found in a creamy dip (and, for those who care about these things, a better nutritional profile). There’s something here for just about everyone, from the Original Dill Pickle, which is a mild mixture akin to a dill dip, to the Spicy Pickle Dip, which kicks up the heat with hot cherry peppers. In between there’s a Dill Pickle With White Cheddar and Mustard, and a Roasted Tomato and Jalapeño. Each one has an assertive (but welcome) pickle presence, but the other additions (especially the cheddar and mustard) don’t compete with the pickle flavor, but enhance it instead.
We also found that not only are all of these delicious, but they have uses beyond dipping. The basic Dill Pickle makes a tasty alternative to mayo in tuna salad, while the Dill Pickle With White Cheddar and Mustard is not at all out of place on a hot dog or brat, or added to a charcuterie plate. Sandwiches, soups, scrambled eggs, tacos, even hot dish — all would benefit from a little Darling Pickle Dip.