Wherefore art thou Bread and Butter pickles?

Why are they called “bread and butter” pickles. I tried Googling, and have found a couple answers:

Another answer was

Neither answer is very authoritative, and they really don’t make sense to me either.

Anyone have a better cite than these?

Google’s nGram viewer gives a cite in 1929, which would mean it predates the Depression. The article cited indicates they were originally eaten with bread and butter.

The OED gives a definition for “bread-and-butter” a referring to “every day food” (from which the usage referring to one’s everyday means of living comes from - for example something like “Oil changes are a car repair shop’s bread-and-butter”), somewhat supporting the first definition.

Here’s another possible cite.

Having fulfilled my “straight answer” duties, here’s an anecdote: When I was a kid, my mom would do elaborate dinners for Easter, Christmas, and especially Thanksgiving. Among other appetizers, we would have a tray of different kinds of pickles. It was my job to get the pickle jars out of the fridge and arrange them prettily on a tray. After the meal was over, I would gather up the uneaten pickles (i.e. most of them) and put them back in their jars for the next fancy dinner.

We had those same pickles in the fridge for years. No one ever really ate any, but they were mandatory at every holiday dinner. I think when we moved out-of-state we threw them away and bought new ones for the new house, but I’m not sure.

My mom still has these pickles in her fridge, and I shudder slightly whenever I see them.

They are, among the wide variety of pickles available, particularly nasty tasting IMO. Because we had them on the pickle dish, with a teeny pickle fork, for Thanksgiving, too, and no one ever touched them.

Thanks, that’s a good cite. It’s the July, 1929 issue, if anyone wants to read it.

Searching at that http://hearth.library.cornell.edu site in my last post, I found an ad mentioning “Best Foods (Fanning’s) Bread and Butter Pickles”.

DuckDuckGoing Fanning’s “bread and butter” pickles led me to a page at cooksinfo.com with an image of the Fannings “Bread and Butter” logo they applied for a trademark for in 1923. There’s another story given there, which they quoted from Feingold News (whatever that is) from 1996:

So I dunno exactly what the true story is, but at least I seem to have made it back to the origin.

My family eats them by the bucketload. I love them. Delicious. Send me all your pickles!

Bread and Butter pickles are delish. Try some from New Braunfels Smokehouse. I could eat them on bread and butter and be pretty happy with them.

Actually, I don’t even like them. My wife eats them sometimes, and we were looking at the jar and wondering about the name. I like deli-style pickles.

I agree. My mother used to can them, and we’d have them with dinner all the time. Gack. Ick.

She did learn that skill, however, from my grandfather, who is as typical a product of the Depression as you’ll ever meet, so the ‘Depression Era’ origin makes sense to me.

I actually enjoy B&B pickles because they are an intermediary to the overpowering sweetness of sweet pickles of the nearly crystalized and candied neon varieties. I also enjoy the mustard seeds that seem to cling to the pickle scips. I like to see and taste the pickling spices.

Could it possibly have anything to do with the traditional marcelled or crinkle cut nature of B&B pickle chips? The grooving is sort of similar to the pattern that is visible when Butter is spread on Bread with a lightly serrated Butterknife.

It seems all this time I’ve been mislead. My grandmother made something she called ‘bread and butter pickles’ and they were pickled mixed vegetables out of her garden - NOT cucumber pickles. They were delicious. Yum.