The Texas Movie Theater Snack Most Other States Don't Understand

There's a lot of things that you can see in a movie theater that can surprise you. It's like when those lights go down, and everyone's bathed in the glow of the silver screen, people just decide to forgo the foundations of polite society and do whatever they want. Making out in the backseats right behind you, mixing snack foods in their tub of popcorn or their oversized cup of Coke, and that man in the coat that's a bit too long for the summer heat pulls out an entire Subway party tray and starts going to town.

Of course, food-smugglers and young lovers are the common stock of the movie-goer population as they have been for many years. But, how would you feel if the person next to you had with them not a big bowl of buttery golden popcorn you sneak a handful of when they aren't looking, but rather were gnawing on a big fat pickle right from a paper bag? Shock? Confusion? Normal reactions from some, of course, but if you're from the Lone Star state, you're probably not surprised to see this green gherkin in the seat next to you. 

In a pickle: a Texas movie theater treat

According to Southern Living, Texans have apparently been enjoying the humble pickle as a movie concession snack for many years, citing the fact that in 1975, an editorial writer in The News suggested that the act of pickle-eating in the theaters comes from Germany, where eating anything from pickles to bread to knackwurst was encouraged during performances, so perhaps Texas is simply tipping its hat to European cultural standards. Pickles have been so common in Texas, that it is said that whenever a Texan goes anywhere else to watch a movie and orders a crisp pickle to enjoy, they're looked at like "an alien." The same effect goes to others who visit Texas and discover bags of individually wrapped pickles, with Twitter users either declaring how cool Texas is, or utterly weird the Lone Star state must be.

But why pickles? Simple. According to Stephen Collette, former owner of Goldin Pickle Co, lots of people just like pickles. They're a "great finger food" and "the smell and crunch are irresistible," he told the Dallas Morning News. Pickles promote profits, too, as they have a long shelf life compared to popcorn, and their salty taste encourages sales of drinks from the concession stand. They're also said to be "customizable" — you can get one with or without juice, have one tossed in your popcorn for a super salty snack, or even have a candy cane skewered through it for a sour-and-sweet tang.