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May 23, 2007 07:37 PM

in a pickle

Has anyone found a brand/s of pickles available at most major food retailers in the US--or more specifically, in the Baltimore-area--that produces really good (read: cruncy!) half sour pickles?

Really, there must be an option besides getting a good pickle from the barrel at a deli!

Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. Just searched the boards, I'm sure I missed the answer to my question - but are these the same as dill or are they different?

    2 Replies
    1. re: chownewbie

      A half-sour is one that's lightly pickled in a saltwater brine, no vinegar. Ones that have been more thoroughly pickled this way are sometimes called full-sours. Most supermarket pickles in jars, especially the ones that aren't refrigerated, are made with vinegar. Nothing wrong with them, but it's a different style.

      They key thing here is the type of brining. Though some manufacturers will refer to these simply as sours or half-sours and will refer to vinegary ones as dills, I wouldn't count on it.

      1. re: hatless

        Thank you for the answer. I only do the refrigerated kind with the big crunch. These would be full-sours right?

    2. In general, whatever refrigerated brands your local supermarkets carry are your only choice in jars. Not sure what's in Batimore, but of East Coast brands I know, I prefer Ba-Tampte over Rosoff or Claussen. Bubbie's, where available, has better sours, not sure about their half-sours.. and they cost twice as much. None are necessarily better than the barrel pickles, depending on the supplier. If in doubt, check the ingredients list.You want to stick with things without vinegar.

      If you have Russian grocery stores near you, it might be worth a look to see if they have anything good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hatless

        Part of what inspired this question is having a jar of Ba-Tampte half-sours in my fridge, and they are anything but!

        I've seen Bubbie's at Whole Foods, so I know that they are available. I may give it a chance.

        Russian grocery stores are a good idea, but I can't really think of any...but, a few Polish places within walking distance...worth checking out too?

        thanks for your reply!

        1. re: baltoellen

          Not for half-sour pickles, but worth checking out anyway. Worst comes to worst, you'll get some chocolate-coverd jellies, a bag or two of pierogi and a container of bigos. Nothing wrong with that. ;)

      2. I've had very good luck with Nathan's brand here in Boston. Not everywhere carries them, but some of the Shaw's do, both half-sour and kosher dill style. To my taste they're equal to or even better than Ba-Tampte's. The trick is finding a store with enough turnover that you get them fresh, they will get mushy sitting too long in the jar.