American-type Dill Pickles in London
I cannot for the life of me find a dill pickle in London. At this point I'm not picky - I'd take even a lousy Vlasic or Claussen-type American grocery-store pickle, but it would be great to find a NY or Chicago-style deli pickle. I have only found "pickled cucumbers" at the grocery store...and they're sweet, not savory. Cornichons, while lovely, aren't cutting it.
What am I missing? I am sure this is just one of those things that's lost in translation....
Sainsbury stocks the "Mrs Elswood" range which, I think, includes a dill pickle which is reasonably similar to to what I've had in NYC on the side with a deli sandwich. You'll find them in the ordinary pickle section of the shop or the kosher section.
You'll often find our supermarket pickle ranges will come in two varieties - one marked "sweet", the other not marked, which isnt sweet and will be the one for you to try. Other than that, you need to find a Jewish deli but, not living down south, I can't help with you that.
I don't know for sure but I used to live in St. John's Wood where's there's large Jewish population and there's a Jewish friendly deli called Panzer's a stone's throw from St. John's Wood station.
There's also Harry Morgan's on St. John's Wood High St.
I would call both ahead before visiting.
Working to the assumption that the origin of the Jewish style pickles will have been north/east Europe, it may be worth a look at discount supermarket Lidl (if there is one in your part of the world). Company has many products from that part of the world. As an aside I have a pal who raves over their German flour mixes for his bread making machine.
Good pickles (ie Guss' Pickles or Pickle Guys) are one of the things I miss the most about NYC and have not been able to find a substitute for in London when the craving hits. I eat them by the dozen when ever I go back.
I make do w/ Vlasic and others from http://www.skyco.uk.com and Planet Organic typically stocks some Kosher Dills made in California which are OK (the name escapes me).
I do need to make the rounds of Golders Green to truly rule out finding any decent pickles here.
Actually, the closest thing I've found to a really good picke is suprisingly in Paris in the Marais at a Polish Patisserie.