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You may be wondering why restaurants foist my bretheren pickles of the less rancid variety on the general public. Unless you specifically ask them not to put them on your plate or food, chances are you'll find some lurking around, waiting to jump down your gullet.

First off, pickles are cheap, like me during Christmas. Cucumbers grow almost anywhere and they are prolific. Sometimes I have to trim back the cuke plants in the garden so they don't take over their section like their fellow miscreant relatives, zucchini. I like zucchini bread, but not 133lbs worth of zukes that I can't even give away towards the end of the growing season. At least I can pickle the cukes in delicious brine and have the opportunity to practice cannibalism all year long after canning them.

Now consider the commercial growers and figure out how many tons of cucumbers they crank out. By volume, they're incredibly inexpensive. A bushel of cucumbers runs around 50lbs and costs approximately $6 for the commercial growers who are contracted to pickle producers. One bushel will yield around 20 quarts of pickles. But...it's important to understand these are for pretty, undamaged cucumbers. What happens to the weird ones, the misshapen, the (gulp!) partially rancid ones?

Some do run away and find a home (like me and Everything2). The rest are bulk-sold to factories that chop them up for relish or the sliced varieties. Restaurants can get cheap pickles for around $16 for a case of four 1-gallon jugs of pickle chips or relish. One gallon will allow you to plop them on a lot of plates for less than a penny. Fast food joints like McDonald's get them far cheaper due to their bulk purchasing power.

OK, so pickles are cheap and plentiful.

Now consider that people want some color on their food and to eat "healthy". Pickles are veggies, right? Yay, I'm eating healthy while shoving a Bacon Double Whopper (with cheese) into my face-hole

The color of the pickles makes the meal more appealing, the taste can accent many other flavors, and they're technically a vegetable. Like fries, made out of potatoes and plunged into vegetable oil for the double-bonus. Yeah, I lie to myself too as I chow down on fast food that never rots if you leave it alone for a decade.

That's why pickles come with everything. And sometimes with Everything2, if you count me.

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