According to the encyclopedia of Arkansas (www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net), controversy swirls around the true origins of the fried pickle, but the Austin family of Atkins, Ark. swears they were the very first folks to dip a battered spear in bubbling oil, in 1963 at the Duchess Drive-In. Duchess owner Bernell “Fatman” Austin started by frying up pickle slices in exchange for a few cents, but over time, began to favor frying up hardy pickle halves instead. In that instant an indulgent regional snack food was born.
I add yellow cornmeal to the breading to give them some textural interest and spiked it with a healthy dose of dill to give the dish more bold pickle flavor. My dipping sauce is a sweet and spicy blend of horseradish, ketchup and savory Worcestershire sauce. The resulting snack is a hot and salty revelation and one that could compete with the very best of bar food fare.
Find my recipe here: http://parkridge.suntimes.com/2014/09/25/fried-pickles-crisp-coating-dose-dill/