What are pickle roll ups and why are they so popular in the Midwest

It’s a snack known by many names: pickle roll ups, pickle and ham pinwheels, prairie sushi, even Lutheran sushi. But if you’re not from the Midwest, you probably don’t know it by any name. Pickle roll ups might be ubiquitous at family gatherings and cocktail parties from Illinois to Wisconsin, yet as one viral tweet this past November revealed, most people outside of the region haven’t heard of them. As Kari Paul, the tweet’s author, points out, two kinds of people populate the ensuing thread: Midwesterners who are devoted to the snack and people from the rest of the country who are skeptical of it at best, or downright insult the dish at worst. One user even calls it an “abomination.”

Like raw meat sandwiches and dessert salad, this Midwestern delicacy is quickly and unfairly maligned just because of its appearance and concept. But pickle roll ups are simple and straightforward in assembly and unite a trio of complementary ingredients: A layer of cream cheese is spread over a thick slice of crisp dill pickle, and is then wrapped in a sheet of ham. The combination of flavors, while perhaps not intuitive, work surprisingly well together.

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