Happy Cloudy Monday GFM Fans!
We’ve been teased with spring’s appearance for a few days and we are not very happy, not very happy at all, with this week’s misbehavior from the sky. We are sitting and waiting patiently for warmth and flowers, and we cannot wait to celebrate with you at the next market April 10th!
Today’s Vendor Blender is dedicated to Sourpuss Pickles who has been with us from the very beginning and makes some pretty damn good pickles.
What is Sourpuss Pickles?
Sour Puss Pickles: Three Words.
We are a small batch pickling company currently located in Crown Heights. We are a highly seasonal, local, buzzword, buzzword, buzzword, operative with the simple intention pickling the best produce available in this region, with the utmost care — as if we were pickling for our own cellar.
How did the inspiration of such a concoction come about?
We had been pickling on a casual level for a few years, mostly using the products we made as gifts around the holidays or birthdays ect. Everyone loved our pickled ramps, and it became kind of an inside joke at parties that we would arrive with a jar in tow.
This past year we decided to throw our hat in the proverbial Brooklyn pickling ring. Not only can Brooklyn boast of having the highest per capita of journalists, writers (fiction and non) and bloggers of all varieties, it seems that it may well possess the highest per capita of small pickle operatives as well. Exciting stuff!
Where do you source your ingredients?
All of our ingredients, with the exception of the spices, are sourced locally. We work with farms from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and, of course, New York.
How is it made? Care to share a recipe?
Most of our varieties are made with vinegar brines, and then sealed in shelf-stabilized jars. We also have malo-lactic fermented vegetables, larger format refrigerator pickles and a handful of relishes.
Creating the brine is the creative part of the process. Typically, it is a concoction of vinegar, water, salt, sugar and a variety of spices. It really depends on the flavor you are aiming for. For instance, if you want a spicy wax bean, using a hot pepper (some fresh variety) of choice in the brine and slow cooking the flavors together, then adding a dried pepper in the sealed jar usually creates a good result. The blending of flavors takes time and pickling is often a true test of patience.
One of our favorite, and simpler, recipes is our roasted beets. We roast off the beets first, then peel them and cut them in somewhat uniform shapes. We then add them to a pint or quart jar with our brine of apple cider vinegar, water, salt, sugar, juniper berries, mustard seed, cinnamon, fresh ginger and fresh thyme. We then seal the jar, store for at least a month and then, voila, we have pickled beets.
Suggestions on how to consume this beauteous product? What does it go well with? What should we NOT eat it with?
Fortunately for us, pickles go well with everything. Morning, noon, nights, and especially late nights, with a libation of choice, are all good times to savor a pickle, a jar or even two.
We always suggest enjoying our products like ramps or the more acidic relishes with a fattier meat like pork or duck, our beets and asparagus along side a charcuterie plate and our variety of cucumbers, beans and curried cauliflower as a snack on their own.
We would probably refrain from eating pickles with, well, um…cereal. On second thought: cereal, granola, oatmeal – whatever your choice – probably suites one of our sharp, acidic varieties just fine.
Why the decision to share you product at GFM?
In all seriousness, GFM is one of the few outlets where a group of like-minded individuals can gather together and share their food passions. Brooklyn is definitely the elephant in the room when it comes to progressive, sustainable food practices, and it’s nice to finally step out of the kitchen or away from the farm and share all these creative efforts in an intimate setting like GFM.