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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

STEPHANIE ZONIE is a contributing editor at THE NIBBLE.

 

 

November 2013

Last Updated December 2013

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Condiments

Best Pickle Brands

Page 8b: A Survey Of Artisan Pickles

 

This is Page 8b (page 10) of a 13-page article. On this page, the review of artisan pickle brands begins. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

 

Brand Reviews: C, D, E

 

Cherith Valley Gardens

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  • “Hot ‘n Spicy” Thick-Sliced Dill Pickles. Serving size: ½ oz (14 g). Sodium: 110 mg. Sugars: 0g. This company’s products are usually very hot, so we were surprised that this one, with a whole red jalapeño in the jar (as well as whole garlic cloves), was only mildly hot. The brine is vinaigery but not garlicky; the pickles have moderate crunch.

 

Claussen

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Certified Kosher by The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations

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  • Kosher Dill Halves. Serving size: about half of a half pickle (28 g). Sodium content: 270 mg. Sugars: 0 grams. A decent crunch, with some vinegar flavor and a modest dill presence.
 
Cherith Valley is known for deliciously hot products. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.
  • Dill is not listed as an ingredient, although “spices” are. Contains preservatives and natural flavors.

 

Conscious Choice Foods

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  • Harold’s Dern Hot Texican Gormay Pickuls. Serving size: 1.3 oz (38 g). Sodium: 580 mg. Sugars: 0 g. Lots of dill seed, garlic, and red peppers visible in jar. Having found the “sissy” pickles below too hot for our liking, we tried these and found the heat level to be similarly sizzling—just without the sugar.
  • Harold’s Frances Cowley’s Dill Pickles “Cellar Style.” Serving size: 1 oz. Sodium: 210 mg. Sugars: 0 g. Very good crunch, moderate vinegar presence. Not much in the way of any herbal flavor, though a modest note of dill comes in at the end. That’s surprising, considering the generous quantity of dill seed in the jar.
 
Love the rustic labels? Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.
  • Harold’s Purdy Hot Texicun Gormay Pickles. Serving size: 1.3 oz (38 g). Sodium: 600 mg. Sugars: 0 g. Not tasted.
  • Harold’s Sissy Sweet Pickuls. Serving size: 1.3 oz (38 g). Sodium: 360 mg. Sugars: 12 g. “Sweet with a ton of heat,” says the label, and it speaks the truth. The pickle chips are thick. “We’ve liked other sweet-heat pickles better, but none packs as much heat as these.  Definitely not for sissies!
  • The Original Beer Pickle. Serving size: 1.3 oz (38 g). Sodium: 600 mg. Sugars: 0 g. Contains red chili peppers, garlic, dill, habanero powder and spice extract. This pickle is super hot: the only pickle in this tasting to numb our lips. It’s also very salty. The label says, “Inspired by the flavor desires of long distance bikers and barroom brawlers.” That may say it all.

 

Crazy Steve’s Pickles and Salsa

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  • A Little More Than Half Sour Barrel Pickles. Serving size: 1 oz (28 g/about ½ spear). Sodium: 210 mg. Sugars: 0 g. These have a great crunch for half sour (or a little more than half sour) pickles. Unmistakable aroma of cinnamon when the jar is opened. Not too sour or spicy, with a lasting garlic presence and a note of that cinnamon.
  • Cajun Cukes (no red chili peppers on the label). Serving size: 1 oz (28 g/about 2 chips). Sodium: 50 mg. Sugars: 0 g. These contain red wine vinegar as well as cider vinegar, but otherwise are just an average, non-spicy pickle and not as interesting as the “red chili pepper”-label variety below.
 

Steve looks happy, not crazy. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

  • Cajun Cukes (red chili peppers on label). Serving size: 1 oz (28 g/about 2 chips). Sodium: 50 mg. Sugars: 0 g. These contain the same blend of vinegars. The heat is medium, not scorching. A nice hint of cumin. Slices of jalapeño and onion, along with black peppercorns and other herbs/spices, visible in jar.
  • Let The Insane Sunshine. Serving size: 1 oz (28 g/about 2 chips). Sodium: 10 mg. Sugars: 5 g. There is sweetness with the heat, but no interesting flavor. The pickle chips are soft and flabby.
  • Let The Sunshine. Serving size: 1 oz (28 g/about 2 chips). Very good crunch, with a sweet/mustardy/vinegary flavor.

 

Donovan’s Cellar

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  • Nana’s B & B Pickles. Serving size: 1.6 ozs (44 g). Sodium: 210 mg. Sugars: 11 g. While the label for these pickles has almost every foodie buzzword going (“Family Farmed Produce,” “100% Natural,” “Small Batch,” it’s OK when the pickles are as good as these are. Great crunch. Sweet on the tongue first, then a good hit of vinegar (though not too much), all accompanied by an intriguing blend of herbs and other flavors. Very well-balanced. A percentage of sales from these pickles is donated to cancer research. [FAVORITE]

 

 
Nana did a great job! Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE

Eat This!

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  • Blue Moon Acres Sweet Pickles. Blue Moon Acres is an area farm. These pickles were obtained at the Stockton, New Jersey Farmers’ Market. No nutrition information. Great crunch. Something of a vinegar “hit”, but the dominant taste is one of cinnamon, which doesn’t blend well with the other flavors. Put up in a Weck jar, so they’re especially decorative.

Emmy’s Pickles and Jams

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  • Dill Spears. Use organic cucumbers, organic chili flakes, and organic dill. No nutrition information.  These should be labeled “spicy dill spears.” The spice level is mild-to-medium, a pleasant sizzle.
 
Emmy’s: sizzling spears. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

 

Epic Pickles

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  • Chesapeakles. No nutrition information, but lots of Old Bay Season. The special spices give these crunchy pickles a truly differentiated flavor. Also quirky: The jar contains both spears and pickle chips. The spicy seasonings provide a lingering kick.

 

Continue To Page 8c: Pickle Brand Reviews
F, G & H

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Along with Brooklyn Brine, a label that’s good for gifting. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

 

 

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