|Horman’s New Dills|
So you may have noticed that the new website at MeetTheShannnons.com isn’t up yet but that VeganMoFo has started. Yes. This is all my fault but it’s also something we hope to change soon. I debated dropping out of Vegan MoFo this year because we’re going to be traveling a lot this Fall, have all these final little details to work on for our book, have the website I mentioned a sentence ago to wrap up and oh – did I mention we’re having a baby? Yep we’re almost halfway through the terrifying yet thrilling process of welcoming our first child into the world.
But more about that later – you’re here for the food not for the jabber about vegan pregnancy, baby prep and tedious book editing. It just felt wrong to skip Vegan MoFo and we really do think we’ll have that website up in like a matter of days. Which brings us to our first post in months – NYC’s First Annual Pickle Palooza!
Now even if I wasn’t pregnant – I would have been completely and totally bewitched by the idea of a festival dedicated to pickles and various brine related treats. I have always loved pickles. Pickled green beans. Southern-style deep fried pickle chips. Dill pickle potato chips. Scratch and sniff pickle stickers*. This passion of mine for savory snacks brought me to Manhattan yesterday with some high expectations and a healthy/surreal appetite.
|Brooklyn Brine Whiskey Sours|
Now, New York City has been the home of some pretty spectacular pickles over the years.There are shops all over every borough with barrels of pickled cucumbers that could win schmancy culinary awards if those kind of awards went to working class delis. You know the kind I’m talking about. They’re like the size of a guinea pig and are so good it’s unthinkable to share. But those weren’t really the kind of pickles we had here. NYC’s first pickle palooza was a winding maze of the finest artisan pickles and pickle themed treats you could find. There was pickle back shots at the bar** and even a booth featuring pickle pops! Yes, Popsicle types of things made with pickle juice.
I guess I don’t have to tell you that there was a lot of stereotypical hipster-y types there on dream dates sipping PBRs and sharing little paper trays of pickles. I actually found that part a little adorable. But again I wasn’t there for the people watching. And there was a lot of people at least 1,000 throughout the day in a not very large area. There was pickle eating contest that I actually enjoyed more than I should have considering I wasn’t an official contender. Who would have thought something like that would have made me a sports fan. It really only distracted me from my job. I had some serious pickle testing to do and I think I lived up to challenge. I ate a total of 8 full sized (in many cases larger than normal) pickles that day.
Some of my favorites were at The Brooklyn Brine booth. They were crunchy and unique and had flavor that went beyond just sour. You can find them at William Sonoma or Whole Foods if you want to try them for yourself. I also feel in love with Horman’s Best Pickles. I wish I could describe them better than just falling back on the lazy word – Amazing! They rocked my face off – in a good way. They were everything you want in a pickle. I would call them my soul pickle but that seems weird.
If I could change anything about the day – It would be three things:
1. None of the other food at the event to compliment the pickles was vegan. There were hamburger sliders and Teriyaki Balls but I know I wasn’t the only one disappointed by that everything had meat.
2. The lighting – while romantic for those young Turks in love – was terrible for photos.
3. It would have been great to have more pickled beans or sauerkraut.
For those of you worried all my posts will be about things like babies and food festivals this month – please remain calm. Tonight Dan and I are having a big vegan German food feast to launch our 2nd Vegan Rock-toberfest in tomorrow’s post and we have a bunch of new Betty Crocker Project recipes lined up!
* These were my favorite as a kid. I guess I’ve always loved food.
** Although in my “condition” I didn’t enjoy a pickle back shot. I can tell you that I do approve of this clever bar trend. Here’s a photo of Dan and our buddy Jack (AKA expresident) doing them at a party not too long ago as proof.