By Ray Van Dusen/Monroe Journal
ABERDEEN – In the long list of famous names in the pickle world, Katy Tackett personally doesn’t consider hers has a place.
“I consider myself more of just a really big fan of everyone who makes the pickles. There haven’t been any restraining orders issued yet even though I’m a pickle stalker,” Tackett said.
Since May 2008, Tackett has taken her lifelong interest of pickles and relayed it online through her blog, www.picklefreak.com.
“I really thought writing a blog would be my outlet and provide an end my endless rambling about pickles, but that backfired on me,” Tackett said.
The Aberdeen native spent seven years living in New York before moving to New Orleans in 2010. During her tenure in Brooklyn, she began to network and make friendships with others involved in its local pickle movement. She began to frequent different pickle festivals including International Pickle Day and her place in the pickle community soon escalated.
“I volunteered to help McClure’s Pickles at Pickle Day and was asked if I wanted to be paid the normal $10 an hour or if I’d rather be paid in pickles. The next year I met the company’s founder and he said he couldn’t believe I asked to be paid in pickles,” Tackett said.
Growing up Tackett liked fried food, candy and potato chips just as much as anyone else, but pickles always trumped everything else at snack time.
“It was the easiest food to be gluttonous with since I was born a pickle freak. People tell me all the time they used to eat them as kids but burned themselves out and couldn’t touch them again until they were in their 30s,” Tackett said.
With 300 people following her reviews and photos of pickles on Twitter, Tackett is embracing social networking as a forum for pickle freaks everywhere to unite.
“Somebody may make a post about how they remember how their grandmother used to use one thing or another in making her pickles. Somebody else with a company may ask for some publicity. I like to think it benefits people making and eating the pickles just the same,” Tackett said.
Born to a generation now embracing the best of technology and simplicity, Tackett is part of the movement of those taking advantage of the ways of slower times.
“Younger people are going back to more organic foods. There’s one generation’s difference from growing and canning your own food like our grandparents did and right now there’s so much of a desire to get back to that,” Tackett said.
Her pickle obsession was recently discovered by EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine where she is featured in the May issue currently on newsstands. When asked if she would be a candidate for the issue featuring pickles, she forwarded all her online activity and explained her love for even the nontraditional pickle-flavored products like toothpaste.
“I can tell I’m getting more traffic on the blog since the article came out and it’s only been a week,” Tackett said.
With everything pickle she absorbed in New York, Tackett hopes to be representative of New Orleans’ future in building a pickle culture.