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Friday, April 17, 2009

It's not just Steinfeld's

Everybody's pickles seem to be coming from India these days.

Comments (15)

Didn't the previous conversation about pickles determine that many of the spices used in pickling are native to India?

And some of the native pickled foods from there sound interesting:


Not Bubbies. They have a more interesting course. Bubbies of San Francisco, based in Stockton, CA and the pickles and sauerkraut are done up somewhere in Canada. I did a mind-twister reading that one. The *only* decent retail Kosher Dill pickles available today. I can make them myself during the summer but true Kosher pickles only have about a 2 week shelf-life and must be refrigerated. Kosher pickles do NOT contain any vinegar or alum - only lots of garlic, pickling spices, fresh dill, water, and whole chilies (hotter are better) and of course Kosher salt. Takes about 10 days to get a really good Kosher taste. Once you've done it once or twice, you tweak the recipe and it becomes trivial until the pickling cucumbers run out.

Pleasant Valley Farms up in Washington produces pickles locally, but mostly for the restaurant business. Hoping that they will expand their production into retail, as I like their product. This is from about a year ago, but still topical:


Try Trader Joe's Half Sour; in the cold case at the stores. After a few weeks they turn really mushy, and "full sour". So eat them soon after purchase if you like the crunch.

In NYC and surrounding areas, there are "new pickles", really fresh, as they have only spent a few days in the brine. Many of the kosher deli's have these on the table for munching while you wait, along with the more sour pickles and the pickled tomatoes and peppers.

As for home made -- some recipes only require kosher salt and water. Some add garlic and other herbs spices. Part of the stem must be left on the cuke, as there are essential enzymes in the stem to assist in the transformation.

For local good stuff, hit Kenny and Zuke's, downtown.

My friends, the Andelman family, have gone to India to solve their daycare problems. Actually, Timmy goes to India.

I just bought "Gabriel" brand sweet gherkin pickles at the Market of Choice because they contained no HFCS. I only noticed there were made in India after biting into one, and then checking the label because they taste more like dill pickles than sweet.

They don't taste like sweet pickles, but I kind of like them. I guess I'll have to start making my own or shopping at the Hillsdale Farmers Market (or buy the HFCS pickles made in USA).

I noticed the Nalley's jars last year with the label from India. They had one of our favorite types, but I just can't bring myself to eat it since there are still pickles produced in the USA. I look at every label now just to see where the product is produced in order to support our workers

Trader Joes pickles don't even come close to those I'm accustomed to from the lower East Side of NY, or from Fairfax in LA. Bubbies is the closest I've found. Kenny & Zuke's are OK. Kornblatt's used to have good Kosher Dills and Kosher green tomatoes, but they are but a shadow of their former past. I've never seen a recipe in any Jewish cookbook (actually written by Jews) that offers Kosher Dills without garlic and dill and salt. The pickling spices are optional as are the chiles. But they add nice zest to an otherwise dull Kosher Dill. Just like my own Bubbe used to make.

Sigh. Just another product to double check for local producers. Somehow a pickle from India just doesn't seem right.

This is a great advertisement for patronizing your local farmer's market.

And, by the way, what businesses still exist in Scappoose that are local? I used to think of it as the home of Steinfeld's and Neu Glo Candles, both locally made.

The best pickles are made right here in Portland, Oregon:

The best pickles are made right here in Portland, Oregon

Sorry. I grew up around these.

This has been going on for years. Unfortunately, I can't remember how many.

Being a Portland native, I grew up with Steinfeld's pickles. A few years ago, I bought a jar of their dills and they didn't taste right. Not bad, but different. I looked at the label and was shocked to find they came from India.

That was my last Steinfeld's pickle.

Not a big fan of Bubbie's, Neusihin's, or Tj's Half Sour. Don't want to argue the merits--it's just a matter of personal taste.

Steinfeld's was never a great pickle, just a good, reliable one. Still looking for a replacement, making do with Claussen and Vlasic.

Tried to buy deli dills from New Seasons recently, but they wouldn't sell 'em...

Awesome pickles, made in Boring, Oregon:


They're at New Seasons, Lambs, Zupans, etc.

I also second Picklopolis pickles. They make all things pickled, most of it great.

This is a bigger problem than just pickles - at least here in Ontario, Canada. Garlic now comes from China with many of the Canadian producers forced out of business. As canning plants close, peach orchards are being bulldozed. Since my piece on pickles from India I have gotten a number of e-mails telling me that I should dig a lot deeper than just a quick look at labels in my pantry. We have frozen vegetables here in London, Ontario, called Europe's Best. My wife bought some - why, I'll never know. But I turned over the bag and learnt that Europe's Best comes form China.
--- Keep up the good work, Cheers, Rockinon.

In my above comment, I noticed that I failed to be totally transparent by failing to post my URL. I apologize. Yours, Ken Wightman

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