Pickles have a rich history with New York City. As early as the 1600's cucumbers were grown all over Brooklyn and then brought into Manhattan to be made into pickles and sold at the markets. In the 19th century there was a pickle boom of sorts on the Lower East Side when they were made and sold at pushcarts all around the area. They were cheap and easy to make at home and were a way for those trying to get by to make some money.
With pickles being such an important part of the city's past it is no wonder that the New York Food Museum would want a day to celebrate one of our (or at least my) favorite treats. This year Pickle Day was held on September 14 at Orchard and Broome, outside of one of the NYC pickle institutions: Gus' Pickles.
But Pickle Day was not just about the cucumber variety (although those were there, too: like the sours, half-sours, and spicy ones given away by The Pickle Guys). There were the people from Rick's Picks with their pickled okra, green beans, beets and more (I blogged about how much I loved their Smokra not long ago...amazing). I fell in love with the garlic pickle relish from McClure's Pickles. I also didn't say no to the bloody mary mix they had made by taking their spicy garlic pickles leftover juices and mixing it with tomato juice. Yum, yum, yum. Russ and Daughters was their with pickled lox and herring. China Food Imports had some delicious kimchi. Cafe Katja had pickled cantaloupe. I also saw pickled watermelon, pickled garlic scapes, pickled peaches, and pickle candy (unfortunately these were just lime flavored with a picture of a pickle, but they were good nonetheless). And surprisingly, one of my favorites all day: pickle truffles (yes! pickle flavored filling dipped in chocolate) from Roni-Sue's chocolates. Sounds strange, yes, but tasted really good! Can't wait to go by Roni-Sue's in Essex market and try out some other flavors--the Manhattan (i.e. the drink) flavored one is especially calling my name.
As I was leaving pickle day, I got one more treat: pickled grapes. Sweet with a little tang. Just perfect. And, for a donation to the NYC Food Museum (which I am really happy to support--keep up the good work!!), I got the recipe for these tasty treats. For a pickle lover like myself, I couldn't have asked for a better day.