HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Pickled onions

nursejean Oct 5, 2007 02:52 PM

I used to live in Baltimore Md many years ago moving to SC in 1976. I remember one thing that I have really missed from there and can not find them anywhere. That is the large jumbo pickled onions that could be found in convenience type stores sitting on the counters much like you could find the pickled eggs in the large jars. These aren't the cocktail onions. I am wondering if anyone knows if they are still around and the company that they could be bought from. I would appreciate the help. One more thing. Being from Baltimore, close to the downtown area many years ago where all the shops used to be there use to be a restaurant called Nemo's, just a small shop that made philly steak subs. They were the best ever and just wondered if anyone knew anything about it and if it still exists, prob. not since it has been so long ago, but they were the best. Just don't find that in the south, the food is so different. Good food here also but I sure miss some of the traditions that I grew up with. And the barbecue was so different, more spicey with a totally different taste. I have to make a trip back soon and hope the food has not changed. The pizzas were also much better, more italian or tomatoey. Just different and better. Thanks for any help. I really would appreciate it.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. kimeats RE: nursejean Jun 15, 2010 10:36 AM

    I am still looking for these as well! Have tried unsuccessfully for years to recreate them.

    5 Replies
    1. re: kimeats
      meangene RE: kimeats Sep 22, 2010 12:26 PM

      To kimeats. The pickled onions that you are looking for can be found at.www.sunofitaly.com. there you go..

      1. re: meangene
        nursejean RE: meangene Jan 5, 2013 12:11 PM

        Thanks for this site. I just ordered some. I sure hope they are the same I had when as a child. They were sour and salty and large like vidalia onions. They were expensive. For a gallon $44 including shipping and handling. If they are what I am looking for,they will be so worth it. thanks so much.

        1. re: nursejean
          ladybug3 RE: nursejean Mar 30, 2013 06:47 PM

          Want to know if they were the right kind. I to am looking for these pickled onions. I live in Georgia.

          1. re: ladybug3
            nursejean RE: ladybug3 Mar 31, 2013 02:34 AM

            Yes. The last time I had them was when I was a child. Ihave lived in SC since 1976 and have not been back to Maryland. I was 18 then. So they do seem to be the same as when I was a child to the best that I can remember. They are very good.

          2. re: nursejean
            Mrzjnz420 RE: nursejean Nov 28, 2013 12:24 PM

            I've been looking for these as well. What was the web to order from?

      2. alkapal RE: nursejean Jun 16, 2010 05:53 AM

        i did a google search (just a quick one, too) and found "giant pickled onions" at an "altman's deli" for $2.29. http://www.attmansdeli.com/carryout.php

        i'll bet if you googled you could find more offerings like it.

        7 Replies
        1. re: alkapal
          kimeats RE: alkapal Jun 16, 2010 06:31 PM

          thanks but I no longer live in baltimore, i live hours away. was looking to make them at home.

          1. re: kimeats
            alkapal RE: kimeats Jun 17, 2010 03:00 AM

            sorry i didn't read your post carefully.

            what exactly have you tried doing to pickle your own, and what specifically failed? i guess you are addressing this on the home cooking board.

            good luck!

            1. re: alkapal
              kimeats RE: alkapal Jun 17, 2010 07:17 AM

              I've tried all the methods outlined for smaller cocktail onions, usually the large onion doesn't stay crisp enough to snap off the outer layer as I remember. Or the brine doesn't effect the large onion the same way, not as flavorful.

              1. re: kimeats
                alkapal RE: kimeats Jun 18, 2010 04:57 AM

                hmmm, i wonder if different types of onions might yield different results (e.g., some with higher or lower sugar content).

                maybe you might find some new pointers here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A655535

                here's one:
                ""Allow plenty of time! A crisp, crunchy pickled onion needs all liquid added to be cold. Spread the task over two or three days."""
                (hot brine will get you soft pickles, according to the site).

                another: http://thefoody.com/mrsbpreserve/poni...

          2. re: alkapal
            melpy RE: alkapal Jun 18, 2010 05:06 AM

            Attmans Deli...It's a cultural icon on Corned Beef Row. NOT Altman's :(

            Not meaning to be rude but I was a little sad when I saw it.

            1. re: melpy
              alkapal RE: melpy Jun 18, 2010 05:26 AM

              you were sad because i made a typo error? ;-).

              1. re: alkapal
                hill food RE: alkapal Sep 22, 2010 05:40 PM

                typos make us cry...

          3. h
            Hue RE: nursejean Jun 16, 2010 11:15 AM

            Most of the local supermarkets carry those big white pickled onions in the deli section..I have seen the big jars for sale at several Mars locations

            1 Reply
            1. re: Hue
              kimeats RE: Hue Jun 16, 2010 06:31 PM

              thanks but i no longer live near balitmore or maryland. we cannot get those where i live.

            2. monkeyrotica RE: nursejean Jun 18, 2010 05:02 AM

              There's a British brand of pickled onions called Haywards. They're larger than cocktail onions but not as large as the Baltimore onions that you're referring to. They're an English pub food. I've seen them at Harris Teeter and Whole Foods.

              Boscoli also makes a creole pickled onion, but they're not as big.

              1. p
                Platomars RE: nursejean Dec 13, 2012 02:26 PM

                I grew up in Dundalk (southern border of Baltimore) and I also remember the large onion jars in the little drug store near where I lived. I loved them and have looked around quite a bit to find them. No luck. Also I didn't know Nemo's but there was a sub shop on Dundalk Blvd that made great sandwiches. I even worked there as a kid and remember people would come from miles away just for their sandwiches. Oh well, say la vee.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Platomars
                  nursejean RE: Platomars Jan 5, 2013 12:00 PM

                  Trying to reply on here not working

                  1. re: Platomars
                    nursejean RE: Platomars Jan 5, 2013 12:03 PM

                    Ok now working. Anyway I remember those days oh so well. The food was the best. But I bet it is just as commercialized as everywhere and the taste is not the same anymore. I am sure the taste is a bit diff though bet the south and north. I also remember the what is called shaved ice now use to be the chunky ice with flavoring all diff flavors people use to set up outside their homes and people used to buy. Could have marshmallow or chocolate added to the top. Anyway going to try some of these sites people mentioned for the onions. Thanks.

                  2. m
                    Mrzjnz420 RE: nursejean Nov 28, 2013 12:28 PM

                    Were you able to find these? I've been looking also. My cousin brought me a jar down from Maryland for my wedding but I would love to order these instead of driving down or me up to get some.

                    1. m
                      Mrzjnz420 RE: nursejean Nov 30, 2013 09:48 AM

                      Found them Herbs Sour Pickled Onions

                      1. m
                        Mrzjnz420 RE: nursejean Nov 30, 2013 09:49 AM


                        1. k
                          kcbutterfly RE: nursejean Nov 30, 2013 01:31 PM

                          Hi, I was just wondering the same thing about the jars of pickled onions. I am also from Baltimore and Nemo's sub shop is on light street, if I remember correctly. I love their cheese steak subs too and their french fries with gravy! I miss it so much, oh and don't forget the steamed crabs!!! I used to go to the bar with my dad when I was little and I always got to get a pickled onion, and you are right they were in stores on the counters, like Lucky's. Do you remember those stores? I don't know if Lucky's is still open, I do know they did close a lot of them down, but anyway I was thinking of contacting them to find out where they get theirs from. If I get more info I will let you know too! Thank you for the great memories of Baltimore!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: kcbutterfly
                            FoiGras RE: kcbutterfly Dec 1, 2013 08:45 AM

                            I believe that the Lucky's in Arbutus has reopened. I've never been in the store so I can't confirm that they sell the pickled onions. I'll have to check it out.

                            My Dad used to take me to a small deli off of Wilkens Avenue in towards the city, and there were two barrels of the large pickled onions--one the sour and the other the sweet (which was my favorite as a kid. The deli also carried sweet pickle/pimento creamcheese which was divine--I believe the supplier was Castle Farms--which also had a place years ago in the Lexington Market. They had the best cream cheeses and cottage cheeses, along with the freshest sour cream. FoiGras

                          2. k
                            kcbutterfly RE: nursejean Nov 30, 2013 02:03 PM

                            I just contacted Lucky's in Glen Burnie and they put me in touch with their wholesaler B Green in Baltimore @ 410-539-6134. They have them!! I don't know to much yet about price and shipping, hey but at least we know where to get them. I will let everyone know more as I do. Hope this helps.

                            1. monkeyrotica RE: nursejean Dec 1, 2013 05:34 AM

                              I was in Bowie, MD yesterday and spotted these on the counter of a fried chicken and fish joint. At first I thought it was a jar of pickled eggs that were getting overmagnified by the brine, but sure enough, they were large white pickled onions. Sun of Italy Brand. And the jar only had 3 onions left in it, so apparently people still eat them.


                              1. w
                                Warrenrhine RE: nursejean Apr 9, 2014 01:02 PM

                                I'm in the same boat I grew up in pig town and left in the 80 s I'm not sure if nemos is still around but I have found a company for the pickled onions not sure of the price yet waiting for them to respond to my emails but they look the same http://www.herbssnackfoods.com/pickle... and I've eaten at nemos but I also liked Andy's and Julie's on Washington blvd and I can't find a decent crab since I left either Hope this help

                                Show Hidden Posts