Photograph by Matt Paul
Pickles from around the park
Sweet, sour, hot, salty, crunchy, with chiles or garlic, cucumbers or green tomatoes or even strawberries, the universe of Adirondack pickles is ever expanding. Just a few years ago someone craving Kosher spears or bread-and-butter chips or giardiniera had to search a big grocery store and be content with whatever a major distributor supplied, made from a mishmash of ingredients coming from a thousand miles away. Now those vegetables and herbs are grown on farms inside the Blue Line, tossed together in pint and quart jars that show remarkable creativity in flavor combinations. Would a handful of dilly beans be the perfect side for your next egg salad sandwich? Do you need tangy sliced cucumbers for a homemade Cubano? Or would crisp Korean-style kimchi be perfect on your fish tacos? Read on and pucker up for the North Country preservation hall of fame.
Dak & Dill
If it’s grown in the Champlain Valley, chances are Dak & Dill has pickled it: Dilly beans, curried squash pickles and clove-spiced beets are just a few of the products this Essex-based food company produces at The Hub on the Hill (518-418-5564, 545 Middle Road), a commercial kitchen and small-business incubator in the middle of farm country. You can also find Dak & Dill’s pickles and condiments at Cedar Run Bakery & Market (518-576-9929, 10897 Route 73, Keene); Reber Rock Farm Store (1699 Jersey Street, Essex); North Country Creamery (518-645-2697, 931 Mace Chasm Road, Keeseville); 1808 Market at the Deer’s Head Inn (518-873-6514, 7552 Court Street, Elizabethtown); and the Village Meat Market (518-963-8612, 3609 Essex Road, Willsboro).
Since 2011, Julie Gallup has been creating a sensation with Fickle Pickles—addicting coins of cukes, equal parts sweet and tart, that are fresh-packed from small local farms. Pick up a quart or two at her J. Gallup Farm (518-504-4033, 3952 Main Street, Warrensburg) or put in your order at www.jgallupfarm.net. You can also sample them down the road at George Henry’s Eatery & Drinkery (518-623-5186) as well as at area resorts and specialty markets in Saratoga Springs and Albany.
The Pickle Store
Brooklyn transplant John Davide’s pickle emporium in Saranac Lake (518-354-8244, 36-3 Broadway) is the genuine article, with barrels holding everything from garlic dills to pickled grapes to stuffed olives, all made on the premises. Davide learned the business from his father, who ran a Manhattan pickle shop for 30 years. The selection varies but usually hovers around 50 items—zucchini, strawberries, giardiniera, plus a variety of cucumber pickles—naturally fermented in brine. Ask for a sample of any product before you buy.
Small Town Cultures
“If it grows together, it goes together” is the credo followed by Cori Deans and Shawn Redding, whose lacto-fermented product line rotates depending on what’s seasonally available. Since they began their Lake Placid–based venture this spring, that’s included day lily buds with curry spices; spicy radishes; strawberries with garlic scapes and beet stems; and kimchi-style cabbage. Ingredients are grown or foraged locally. Find them in the refrigerated section of regional health- or specialty-food stores, including Cedar Run Bakery & Market (518-576-9929, 10897 Route 73) and the Brew Castle (518-576-2739, 10918 Route 9N), in Keene; Green Goddess Natural Market (518-523-4676, 2051 Saranac Avenue, Lake Placid); and Nori’s Village Market (518-891-6079, 138 Church Street, Saranac Lake).