Half sours: Ba-Tampte vs. Guss, Russ, et al.
Set aside price, set aside supporting your local pickler, set aside nostalgia for the LES of old. On flavor alone, do New York's appetising stores make a better half-sour pickle than what I can but from the local Pathmark?
I ask because I just opened a jar of Ba-Tamptes, and they're great!
I love Ba-Tampte half sours also. And I've wondered if the ones in New York are better. You have Guss's and the Pickle Guys. I don't remember which is the original, but I remember hearing on this forum somewhere that the newer of the 2 uses a pickle from the Sunshine Co. in Jersey. A kosher deli in my area uses these same pickles, and while very good, cannot compare to Ba-Tampte. I'm wondering which is the original New York place, and what the opinions are of them compared to Ba-Tampte.
I just saw a post on the Best board where the poster claims to have seen trucks from Guss's and the Pickle Guys picking up their pickles from a place (Terminal something or other) that sold them Ba-Tampte's.
Guss' and The Pickle Guys can't be beat (not sure where Russ & Daughters get theirs but on a Saturday they're good in a pinch). However, if you're not gonna get full sour, don't bother with the one exception of my daughter who prefers half sour but that's because her mother is a shiksa (THOUGH i LOVE HER ANYWAY).
The Brooklyn Terminal Market. Canarsie B Ba Temple is made there also Mr Pickle. The trucks that go there Guss and the pickle guy sometimes picks up Kirby pickles and fresh made barrles of Kraut and pickles. The Markets are a large freah produce drop off for all the 5 boro's.
Ba-Tempte half sours are the best. When buying in a supermarket you have to look at the brine in the jar and at the cap. If the brine is cloudy and the cap is puffed up then the pickles are changing. That may sound crazy but I noticed the difference in taste between the clear brine and cloudy brine (Clear being NEW or half sour... GOOD!). If you are near Middletown, NY and want a great Half Sour pickle check out Gary's World Best at the Middletown Flea Market, Sat and Sun. He is the same Pickle Guy that sold at Maybrook Flea Market for 10 or so years.
re: Hot Dog King
No, that's not crazy!
Several months ago, I came across Ba-Tampte half-sours and was very excited (my family used to make those in the summer - it's really easy, by the way, or so they tell me). I got a jar, but the flavor was weird; I would even say that they tasted spoiled.
I found your post then, and realized that mine were "changed", as you say, because the brine was cloudy.
This week, I got another jar with clear brine, and man oh man what a difference! Another thing to pay attention is the color. The pickles should be grass-green, almost like fresh cucumbers, not yellowy.