Roving Kitchen Reporter, #2

Nick is not a picky eater. I am blessed that he’s happy with pretty much whatever concoctions I manage to whip up, as long as they don’t contain pickles (eggplant and polenta are his other edible adversaries, but we’ll save that showdown for another day.) But recently, I figured out that his pickle prejudice is limited to those made with cucumbers (maybe it’s the dill?). He’ll scarf down pickled onions, tomatoes, beets and any other brine-able vegetable. So last week at the farmer’s market, I stopped by the Rick’s Picks table and got a jar each of Phat Beets and GT 1000s.

Aside from the fact that Phat Beets would be a chow-tastically awesome rap name for me (can’t you just see me kickin’ it wit Kanye and Jay-Z? Awwww, yeah.), these babies are some good eatin’. They’re not your mother’s pickled beets. Well, they’re not my mother’s pickled beets, those old-school Jewish deli pickled beets that only had a faint beet-ness about them and no pickle-y punch. These pack a distinct tang, their sweet, little hot pink beet bodies soaking up loads of goodness from the rosemary tinged, vinegary brine. They were a nice addition to a goat cheese salad; I know goat cheese and beet salad is SO 2003, but just because something is on every menu in the world, it doesn’t mean it’s not longer delicious. Plus, the beet/goat cheese thing is a whole new world with such bad-ass beets.

If you’re going to spring for one thing from Rick’s, though, I have to heartily recommend the GT 1000s. These pickled curried green tomatoes float in a vaguely mustardy, totally flavorific juice. The curry flavor is pretty subtle, and they’re not spicy at all. We tried them on tuna sandwiches and turkey sandwiches, and I suspect they’d be an interesting foil to some super-sharp cheddar and buddy up nicely to a lamb-burger. I kind of want to put them on everything.

Rick and his picks have been around for a while, winning Pickle Awards, garnering Pickle Accolades, and dazzling the general Pickle press, but there’s nothing like tasting for yourself. It’s nice to know pickles could have such attitude. And maybe I'll even be able to con Nick into liking these.

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