If you thought Taco Bell had cornered the market on creative chicken (I’m looking at you, chicken chips), you haven’t been to a baseball game in Fresno, California.
Minor league baseball teams don’t always draw the biggest crowds, which is why squads and their marketing teams have started looking for creative solutions to attract fans. These days, minor league ballparks offer tons of free swag, theme days—and some seriously creative food options.
This week, the Fresno Grizzlies baseball team raised the bar for every other minor-league outfit with an ambitious marketing department. During games on May 17 and 18, Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate unveiled a concoction called the Chickle. As the name suggests, it’s a huge pickle filled with spicy chicken—because sure, why not?
The Chickle was inspired by the Grizzlies’ four-game series against the Nashville Sounds, and was only available during the final two games. The recipe basically involves hollowing out a giant pickle, turning it into a bun, then stuffing it full of Nashville-style hot chicken.
Playing @nashvillesounds for 2 more, so doing some Nashville hot chicken in a big pickle. Available tomorrow (12:05) and Thurs (7:05) only. pic.twitter.com/PTzwRIdLI7
— Fresno Grizzlies🐻🌮 (@FresnoGrizzlies) May 17, 2017
The announcement sparked debate on Twitter over whether the Chickle was, in fact, a sandwich. It seems like the jury is still out on that one, pending some more taste testing.
Hey @ARizzo44 @Ky1eLong is a #Chickle a sandwich? Inquiring minds wanna know… #Sandwich #Foodie pic.twitter.com/eD6Vdl5X4p
— ArtWoz (@artwoz) May 18, 2017
Fans mostly seemed to enjoy this curious creation.
Thumbs up for the #chickle ! Or, as I like to call it, the #picken ! @FresnoGrizzlies #WalkOffWinners pic.twitter.com/remYfGKccD
— George Takata (@georgetakata) May 17, 2017
This isn’t the first time the Fresno team has stepped up to the plate on a culinary challenge. Back in 2015, they took theme night to a whole new level when they became tacos for a night. The team rebranded itself as the Fresno Tacos, complete with “Tacos” jerseys and a limited-edition hat featuring a taco logo. The Tacos—I mean Grizzlies—also host an annual Taco Truck Throwdown every August.
So if you’re one of those people who likes baseball games mostly for the food, you might want to schedule a trip to Fresno. Even if the Chickle is long gone by then, the Grizzlies will definitely have something else up their (chef’s) sleeve.