I have two fairly similar questions. I haven’t been in the Boston area for very long, and I am trying to look for tasty pickled cucumber/ gherkins/ capers, etc. around the area. I’ve tried the antipasti bars at Whole Foods, and some mass market brands available around here, but I have not found something yet that sends me to pickle heaven. Often times I found the taste a bit ‘unbalanced’. But I am sure there are a lot of local makers that I haven’t discovered. Hence the questions:
Where can I find the great pickled goodness around here, regardless of value? These I intend to eat and savor by themselves.
Where can I find great and great value pickled goodness around here? These I intend for things like sandwiches and snacking in quantity.
Some places I have heard good things about but yet to try: Grillo’s, Berezka. Any other I should give a shot?
Berezka is a cool market, should have lots of European style things there to check out (just watch out for the old ladies who are shopping, they are tough as nails!). The Armenian markets in Watertown (especially Arax) have lots of good value pickled stuff too.
Not super local, but our go-to pickle source is Gizmo’s Pickles. We by them by the case lot at the Norwich, VT farmer’s market (across the river from Hanover, NH). Especially the dilly beans, pickled fiddleheads, and pickled hardboiled eggs.
Maitland Mountain Farms make great spicy and non-spicy spears. Use the brine for dirty martini’s as well.
They are in Salem and sell at many North Shore farmers markets.
Capone Foods in Somerville, Union Square, has great salt cured capers. They are not in a pickling juice but are extremely delicious and high quality.
I think they also have the pickled gherkins, but they aren’t house made, high quality jarred or in a plastic tub, if I remember correctly.
Their house cured green olives are also not in a pickling brine, but are delicious.
Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge and South End also have some great house made stuff in brine. I love Arax as well.
I don’t think you can get them in bulk for take out, but the house pickles at Tupelo Restaurant in Inman, Cambridge, are very good.
We do like Grillo’s in jars and Russo’s in Watertown also has a selection…can’t remember if they have Grillos or not.
Whole Foods antipasto bar and their packaged olives in brine, etc. are not very good, for us.
Some of the vendors at Boston Public Market have jarred housemate pickles. I can’t remember which ones we liked, but what we did try were all better than the Whole Foods antipasto bar.
Now you got my interest piqued- what do you mean they are tough as nails, what will they do? like shove people out of the way or something?
Ah- I never thought of Armenia as pickle land since they seem closer to Central Asia than Central Europe, but I suppose its close enough by.
I am not well versed in glass vs plastic. But is there any concern that they are contained in a plastic tub?
Thank you all for the many great suggestions! That gives me plenty to upgrade my pickles. I think I am going to start with those offered around here and gradually ‘expand’ the pickle sampling/ procurement radius.
heh, they are mostly old Russian ladies. If you’re in a scrum with them in line for the deli meats, you will lose, every single time!
Great topic. I’m personally a fan of new pickles, the younger the better. Grillo’s are tasty (especially their spicy pickles), although I wish they wouldn’t slice them into spears. I’ve bought them at both their store in Inman Sq as well as at Wegman’s. Russian markets (Bazaar, Berezka) will do in a pinch, but I’m not too jazzed about their brine. I really like the ones at Russo’s (P.O.E., both regular and horseradish), probably my favorites around here.
I would kill for a Moon Brine Pickle if he ever moved back to New England.
Do you prefer vinegar or lacto-fermented?
I don’t know of too many good places that do lacto-fermented, I get mine from Russo’s. They are from POE of New York.
I would love to here some other suggestions for lacto-fermented.
For vinegar the aformentioned Grillo’s are good, and can be had at most supermarkets (I’ve seen them at Shaw’s/Star, Stop and Shop, and Roche Bros.)
Either work for me. Used to buy Grillo’s, but haven’t recently. Used up the last of mine a couple of weeks ago. Just waiting to start the garden for more this year.
It may be of interest to you that there is a fermentation festival around here. They also do fermented dinners.