Pass the pickles, please

Who’s got two thumbs and loves pickles?  THIS GUY!  For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a pickle junkie.  Bread and butter, spicy, kosher, dill, spears, chips, you name it, I loved it.  That perfect mix of salty/sweet-vinegary goodness packed into that little cucumber hit my tastebuds just right.  But hey, here’s a fun fact boys and girls, the term pickle is not reserved for cucumbers alone.  It can actually refer to a multitude of fruits, vegetables, and even proteins that are cured in some sort of vinegar solution or brine.  Oh my, did this notion turn my world upside down.  I decided to pick up the pickling torch one day and take myself on a little journey, a journey to pickle EVERYTHING.  Beets, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, grapes, garlic, you name it, I’ve pickled it.  Fennel?  I can pickle that.  Kumquats?  You bet!  

To the lay person, pickling seems like such an entry level cooking technique, a hobby of your grandmother’s, a practice that has no relevance in this day and age of modernist cuisine.  BLASPHEMY, I say. There’s a reason why pickling has stood the test of time.  Because when it comes down to it, the sky’s the limit, from the product you’re pickling to the flavor you try to impart.  From jar to jar, tastes and textures are transformed and flavor profiles can come across as delicate, tart, sweet, sour, salty, or spicy.   The beauty of the pickle is it’s confident and strong enough to stand alone, but can have the finesse to elevate a plate to that next level by providing a crisp bright contrast to round out the richest, most decadent dish.  

GOOD NEWS, MY FRIENDS!  You don’t need to be a farmer, or have a backyard garden, or be living in the late 1800’s to pickle.  Get yourself some mason jars, some fruit or veg (cucumbers, carrots, beets, or whatever), a jug of vinegar, some spices and PICKLE!!!  The most complicated part of the whole process is not diving into those jars straight away but allowing the pickles to cure for weeks on end to ensure that just-right flavor.  Show some restraint.  If you’ve got the patience of a saint, you’re golden.  However, if you’re an instant gratification type of guy or gal, just come on down to Terra Nomad and enjoy some of my favorite handmade pickles.  

-Chef Tyler

Directed & Produced by Charles Russell 

Cinematography & Editing by Derek Ellis