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MAKING PICKLES! Reliable source for kirby cucumbers?

Mr Taster Sep 6, 2011 11:12 AM

My recent thread on traditional kosher dill pickle making on Home Cooking got me wondering

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/805067

Where can one find a reliable source in Los Angeles for the traditional kosher dill cucumber, the kirby?

I've found them at the Hollywood Farmer's Market on Sunday, but I don't think I've ever seen them in the supermarket.

Thanks.

Mr Taster

  1. c
    cacio e pepe Sep 14, 2011 10:01 AM

    One reliable market? Maybe no. But they are around at lots of places. I can always find them at Vicente Foods (not the cheapest), but right now they are selling giant ones so I would not say they qualify as a reliable *and* daily source. I've seen them at Persian markets (which also is a great source for . . . Persian cucumbers). Jons is also an excellent source (and they *are* generally cheap), but I don't seen them every day.

    It's just not a really popular cultivar for most markets to carry these days. Strange, because they are really tasty even if you aren't making pickles with them.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cacio e pepe
      s
      saucequeen Sep 17, 2011 10:36 PM

      Kirby's are ALWAYS available at Korean supermarkets as they are staples in Korean food...
      I just got 3 pounds for 99 cents. Can't beat that!!

      1. re: saucequeen
        c
        cacio e pepe Sep 18, 2011 01:00 PM

        That's cheap! That's actually free. The gas used to bring the cucumbers to the store had to be more than that.

        I'll be sure to check out a Korean grocer soon, though that can be tough where I'm at. 99 Ranch is more convenient.

        Do Korean grocers always carry the small ones? I'm not a fan of over-sized kosher dills.

        -----
        99 Ranch
        17713 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

        1. re: cacio e pepe
          s
          saucequeen Sep 18, 2011 02:37 PM

          Yes, they always carry the kirby and the persian cucumbers. They are always used in banchans and in kirby kimchi as well.. I usually don't see them in chinese markets. Korean markets are all over socal. Where are you located?

          1. re: saucequeen
            c
            cacio e pepe Sep 18, 2011 04:44 PM

            Kirby and persian does not necessarily mean small and they are often very large. Those don't make good *whole* pickles. I would imagine that isn't a big deal for the kind of cucumber kimchi (sliced) I've encountered.

            I'm looking forward to a field trip for my next batch of kosher dills. One long drive is better than zig-zagging through my local neighborhood on a wild cucumber chase.

    2. h
      happybaker Sep 13, 2011 08:42 PM

      I always see them (and get them!) at ethnic markets.

      In my current area, that's SuperKing and Jons. As well as smaller produce markets.

      On the westside I used to get them at Elat and Stan's on Pico.

      I don't use them for pickling, I use them for every day - I find the texture and taste so much nicer than "regular" cukes!

      1. t
        torty Sep 13, 2011 07:54 PM

        I find them on a consistent basis at the Korean market near me- that is in Torrance (Sepulveda & Maple) but leads me to believe it is a standard for the making of kimchi and panchan so it should be a Korean market staple. They have been also stocking the Persian cukes but those do NOT do well in a processed pickle.

        2 Replies
        1. re: torty
          Mr Taster Sep 14, 2011 07:20 AM

          You really should read my referenced post re: making kosher dills. There are benefits in using Persian cucumbers for beginning pickle makers.

          Mr Taster

          1. re: torty
            a
            AAQjr Sep 14, 2011 08:37 PM

            I meant to add on as well that I have sometimes seen them Assi Supermarket in K-Town

          2. p
            paprkutr Sep 13, 2011 06:35 PM

            I just bought some at Super king on San Fernando

            3 Replies
            1. re: paprkutr
              s
              Sam D. Sep 18, 2011 01:55 PM

              Super King is my source also but they are not labeled as "Kirby" cucumbers there. They are labeled by the market as either pickling cucumbers or California pickles but they are definitely Kirbys. They are stocked on a daily basis there and the huge sales volume and rapid turnover at Super King's produce department is a pretty reliable assurance of freshness. They usually sell for 50-69¢/lb. SK also carries fresh dill, garlic and a wide variety of spices.

              I have been making my own kosher style dill pickles for quite a few years just because it is nearly impossible to find acceptable pickles at the market. In fact, there are only a handful of restaurants I know of that serve decent kosher style dill pickles.

              1. re: Sam D.
                Mr Taster Nov 16, 2011 07:50 PM

                On two separate occasions, I was disappointed at not finding them at Super King.

                However, I did find them today at the 3rd/Fairfax Farmers Market! They were at the Farm Boy stand (next to Marconda's Meats) in a bin, behind the potatoes, next to the Persian cukes. I forgot to ask them if they're a staple. Anyway, I'm delighted to find them in such an accessible place.

                Mr Taster

                -----
                Marconda's Meats
                6333 West 3rd Street [Stall 514], Los Angeles, CA 90001

              2. re: paprkutr
                b
                badmeow Sep 19, 2011 10:29 AM

                Super King in Altadena carries pickling cucumbers consistently. They are usually quite large and have very thick skins, so I'm not sure if they are true Kirbys or some form of national pickling cucumber.

              3. m
                maggiedacat Sep 11, 2011 12:00 PM

                I almost always see traditional pickling cukes when I shop at hispanic grocery stores like El Super. I also see them often at Jon's.

                -----
                El Super
                3321 W Century Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90303

                1 Reply
                1. re: maggiedacat
                  Mr Taster Sep 11, 2011 12:47 PM

                  Great leads, thanks guys.

                  Mr Taster

                2. a
                  AAQjr Sep 11, 2011 10:29 AM

                  I haven't been in a while, but I used to see them at Jons. In season though, they can be very hard to find out of season.

                  1. Mr Taster Sep 11, 2011 10:24 AM

                    Really, Chowhounds??

                    I'm disappointed... not one person knows a reliable, daily source of kirby cucumbers?

                    Mr Taster

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