Drain the pickles in a colander, then spread on paper towels to drain completely.
Combine the buttermilk and hot sauce in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, and 2 tablespoons of Essence.
Heat the oil in a medium pot to 350 degrees F.
Submerge the pickles in batches in the buttermilk, then dip into the flour mixture, tossing to evenly coat. Shake in a strainer to remove any excess batter. Add to the oil in batches, turning, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels, and season with Essence and salt, to taste. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Yield: about 6 servings