Americans haven’t soured on pickle pizzas just yet. Even fast-casual sandwich leader Pickleman’s Gourmet Café, with locations across the Midwest, has joined the movement.

Pickleman’s recently introduced the Pickled Cuban Pizza, one of 10 pies on the chain’s menu. It features a yellow mustard base with a cheese blend, smoked ham, pulled pork, bacon, pickles, onions and a drizzle of spicy brown mustard.

Founded in 2005 by restaurant veteran Doug Stritzel, Pickleman’s has stores in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Indiana. The Pickled Cuban Pizza is available at select locations.

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Other pizzas on Pickleman’s menu include the Asiago Chicken (grilled chicken, bacon, cheese and a signature Asiago Caesar dressing); The Hog (marinara sauce, cheese, pepperoni, sausage, grilled chicken, giardiniera peppers and onions); and the Buffalo Chicken (Buffalo sauce, cheese, grilled chicken and bleu cheese). All of Pickleman’s pies boast a thin and crispy crust.

Pickleman’s also recently announced that it has added No Antibiotics Ever (NAE) pulled pork to its menu. The verified Open Prairie NAE Pulled Pork has created six new menu items in three categories: the Cuban, BBQ Pork and Smokehouse Stack sandwiches, the Pickled Cuban Pizza and coming soon, two new Mac & Cheese bowls.

Pickleman’s says it’s working to eliminate antibiotics—and other additives and chemicals—from its food. “Serving healthier, responsibly sourced food builds our customers’ trust and loyalty in the brand,” Stritzel said in a press release. “Real food tastes better and contributes to our sales growth and industry-leading average unit volume.”

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Going NAE with pork is particularly difficult as the animals need to be segregated in a defined herd, eating only a 100% vegetarian diet, and must be kept apart through the entire process, according to Farm Journal’s Pork Business news section.

Why care about reducing antibiotics in our food? At least 2.8 million people in the U.S. develop antimicrobial-resistant infections a year, with over 600,000 of those cases directly traceable to food, the Center for Disease Control has reported. Animal welfare is key to suppressing the growth of this problem, notes World Animal Protection: Animals raised with less stress and more space develop natural immunity to disease and thus vastly reduce the need for antibiotics.

“Happier animals produce better-tasting, more nutritious pork,” said Hayley Sohn, Pickleman’s head of nutritional research and development. “We do it for the animals, your health, and the health of our nation.”

Food & Ingredients