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Frequently Asked Questions about Mt. Olive Pickle Company

Below are some of the more commonly asked questions asked about Mt. Olive and our products. Click the "answer" button to read more. And if you still have a question, please feel free to use our Contact Form to ask us.

Does Mt. Olive Pickle have barrels that it makes available to the public for purchase? answer

A: Our 55-gallon barrels are not available for sale to the general public.

For small quantities of barrels in North Carolina, you can contact the following:
Charles J. Rice, Benchmark Earth Works in Sanford, (919) 774-7877 or, or Patsy Quinn in Kenansville, 910-296-3145 or

In Virginia, contact Kathy Smith, Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation, at 540-483-5341, or Beverly Kline, Clean Virginia Waterways, at 434-395-2602.

Where do I find the Best If Used By Date on Mt. Olive products? answer

This applies to all of Mt. Olive's products except for our Jalapeno Pepper items. On our Jalapeno Pepper products, you may find the Best If Used By Date stamped on the rim of the jar lid, or on the shoulder of the jar as described above.

Why can't I find my favorite Mt. Olive product at my local grocery store? answer

Stores determine what product mix they will carry based on their customers' preferences, sales information and input from our own sales people. So product availability varies from store to store.

If your local store does not carry your favorite item, learn more about ordering select Mt. Olive products.

Mt. Olive also may discontinue items from time to time, depending on sales. Check out our Discontinued Items list.

Where does the term 'bread & butter' come from? answer

The term bread and butter pickles actually comes from Sweden's smorgasbord -- which is a table of delicacies eaten as appetizers before dinner. Included are several kinds of breads and butter, as well as pickled vegetables, (including pickled cucumbers) pickled and smoked fish and meats. Smorgasbord means "bread and butter table." Here in the U.S., of course, smorgasbord means a buffet-style meal.

If Peter Piper really picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many pickled peppers did he pick? answer

If he picked a peck of banana peppers, he'd have 20-24.

Does Mt. Olive pack olives? answer

Well, no. Most olives are packed in Spain.

Then how did Mt. Olive get its name? answer

The Mt. Olive Pickle Company is named for its hometown, Mount Olive, NC. Tradition has it the town was named for the biblical Mount of Olives. We realize it's a bit confusing. Mount Olive and Mt. Olive are located on the Coastal Plain of Eastern North Carolina. There's nary a hill in sight.

No mounts in Mount Olive, or olives, either. Just pickles.

Do Mt. Olive products contain gluten? answer

All of Mt. Olive's products are GLUTEN FREE. The vinegar we use is corn-based.

Does Mt. Olive offer a consumer mailing list? answer

Mt. Olive offers an online mailing list. We periodically send email alerts featuring Mt. Olive Pickle news and information regarding coupon offers in local Sunday papers. To sign up, go to Contact Us and send us an email. Be sure that the box for Send me email updates is clicked.

How can I order Mt. Olive products? answer

We can ship any 12 oz. or 16 oz. item we pack in our gift pack packaging. We ship UPS anywhere in the continental U.S. Six jars of a single item, only.

We also offer two standard six-jar assortments, our regular Gift Pack, and our No Sugar Added Gift Pack.

At this time, we do not utlize online ordering. To order any of these items, call us at 800.672.5041 and ask for the Gift Shop.

For pickle products larger than 16 oz.: For larger items, we suggest you ask your local store to special order a case for you. Please keep in mind that sometimes special orders are possible at the store level, and sometimes they aren't.

For reference, it's helpful to provide your store with the product UPC number, a 10-digit number that starts with 09300. You'll find UPC numbers listed on our Product Line pages.

What is the difference between Kosher Dill pickles and Dill pickles? answer

Kosher Dill pickles have garlic flavoring in them. (Kosher denotes garlic.) Dill pickles do not have garlic.

What is a 'kosher pickle?' answer

The word "kosher" itself is derived from Hebrew and actually means religiously proper or acceptable. Today, however, for many avid pickle lovers "kosher" has come to mean that garlic flavor has been added. Mt. Olive's pickles are both kosher and kosher: our kosher dills are not only garlic flavored, but they are also produced in accordance with kosher dietary laws. All of our products have the approval of the Jewish Orthodox Congregations of America and carry the widely recognized OU symbol.

What are fresh pack pickles? answer

Fresh pack pickles are those made from fresh cucumbers that do not undergo a lactic acid fermentation process before being packed. Fresh pack pickles may be sliced, chipped or packed whole using various sizes of pickles and containers. After these pickles are packed in jars with either sweet or dill juice, they are vacuum sealed. The pickles are then pasteurized to prevent the product from fermenting, and quickly cooled. This process also preserves the unique flavor and distinct texture of the fresh cucumber.

What are processed pickles? answer

Processed pickles are made from cucumbers that undergo a lactic acid fermentation process before they are packed in jars. During this curing process, salt is gradually added according to a precise formula. By the end of the curing period, the cucumbers have become what is known as "brine stock" from which processed pickles are made. These pickles may be sweet, dill or sour, and they may also be sliced, chipped, cubed or packed whole using various sizes of pickle containers.

I like to drink pickle juice. Is there any way I can purchase it from Mt. Olive? answer

No. We do not pack and sell our pickle juice separately. The truth is, that great taste is a balance of flavor that occurs when the juice is added to the pickles. The juice by itself just isn't the same.

Isn't pickle juice a favorite of some athletes? answer

Some athletes and athletic trainers use pickle juice to prevent or diminish muscle cramps. No one is sure why pickle juice works in this way. But, pickle juice is similar in make-up to sport drinks. Where citric acid is used in most sport drinks, pickle juice has acetic acid, or vinegar.

After I open my jar of Mt. Olive pickles, should I store it in my refrigerator? answer

Yes, you should. Pickles will keep indefinitely in your refrigerator. Refrigeration ensures product quality remains intact over time, and in the case of fresh pack items it prevents fermentation.

Fermentation is a natural process, and eating fermented pickles does not pose a health threat (fermented pickles just may not look and taste as appetizing.) A telltale sign of fermentation is a milky, cloudy appearance in the juice.

By the way, we suggest you chill that unopened jar of pickles before serving to enhance the flavor.

My power has been out for several days. Are the pickles left in my refrigerator safe to eat? answer

The good news is that your pickles should be safe to eat, even though they have been left without refrigeration for a number of days. Pickles are an acidified food. While we generally recommend that our products be refrigerated (above) leaving them out for a few days generally does no harm.

Fermentation is a natural process, and eating fermented pickles does not pose a health threat (fermented pickles just may not look and taste as appetizing.) A telltale sign of fermentation is a milky, cloudy appearance in the juice. If your pickles have any signs of fermentation, toss them.

Do you offer tours of your factory in Mount Olive? answer

We do not offer tours of our facility to the general public. But, we offer a tour video in our gift shop that you can ask to see while visiting. The gift shop hours are 8-5 Monday through Friday; it's usually closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch.

Do you have a company gift shop? answer

We have a great little gift shop here at the Corner of Cucumber and Vine. The gift shop hours are 8-5 Monday through Friday; it's usually closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch. You are also welcomed to take photos of our street sign marking the Corner of Cucumber & Vine.

Can groups visit your plant site? answer

We can accommodate small groups, up to 30 people, for visits to Mt. Olive PIckle that include a talk about the company, the tour video, and sampling. The program takes about 45 minutes. No group tours of the factory are offered. To arrange a group visit, contact Lynn Williams.