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May 8, 2012 07:38 AM

Sour Pickles

Looking for an authentic tried and true east coast sour pickle recipe. Thanks.

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  1. I had very good results using the method described here:

    2 Replies
    1. re: small h

      small h, Nice. Will give it a try. Thank you for your friendly-reminder of a previous CH post. Have been looking for a salt, water, and garlic brine made with no vinegar pickles. As in the Mrs. Neushin kind grew up with here in Oregon (more history about Sarah Neusihin below) so unique cheap and good. But can not get anymore. Mrs. Neusihin's pickle operations where bought by Steinfeld's Pickles, who sold out sold to Dean Foods in 1999 ... somehow now wrongly added vinegar to the Mrs. Neusihin's brine making too sour so do not recommend and now made in India (same old label with India fine print on a different jar).

      When make pickles at home able to use better quality hand picked cucumbers. Look forward to trying this way to make pickles as seems the old world original way have heard about (but could never find).

      History of Mrs. Neusihin's pickles with a blurp about Steinfelds Pickles when near where I live here in Oregon:

      Portland's Pickling Past

      Locals who recall the colorful old South Portland neighborhood — before urban renewal made it into a concrete, vertical neighborhood — can perhaps tell stories of dipping for a pickle into a wooden, brine-filled barrel at the corner grocer’s. Jewish immigrants used their family recipes from Central and Eastern Europe to furnish neighbors with pucker-perfect kosher dills.

      There were dozens of small family pickle operations in the early 1900s, but one South Portland pickler achieved widespread commercial success, beginning in the 1930s. Although Sarah Neusihin died in 1970 and her company was sold about 10 years later, the unparalleled crunch and spiciness of Mrs. Neusihin’s pickles live on in the memories of people who bought them by the jar or enjoyed them at restaurants such as Yaw’s Top Notch, Jolly Joan’s, Henry Thiele’s, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours and The Cheerful Tortoise.

      In the basement of her house at 420 S.W. College St. (now a restaurant, Alexandria Mediterranean Cuisine), Neusihin fermented tons of local cucumbers in a salted water brine, following the family recipe she brought from Russia in about 1920. Her son, Irving, a mechanical engineer, made all the processing equipment, and the whole family pitched in.

      “My brother says he thinks he still smells garlic on his fingers,” says Lisa Neusihin, 50, Sarah’s granddaughter, who peeled countless garlic cloves throughout her childhood. She keeps her grandmother’s precious recipe alive by making pickles for friends and family.

      Steinfeld’s Pickles bought Mrs. Neusihin’s, but both companies were sold in 1999 to Dean Specialty Foods in Wisconsin. The recipes and the sourcing of the produce were changed. For example, vinegar was added to the pickles now bearing the Mrs. Neusihin label.

      “Vinegar!” exclaims Lisa Neusihin in horror. “My grandmother would be rolling over in her grave 150 times!”

      Steinfeld’s began in 1922 so Henry and Barbara Steinfeld would not have to waste their garden crop of cucumbers and cabbages. First they sold their extra produce at the old downtown Portland farmers market and door-to-door in their St. Johns neighborhood. Then the couple started making and selling pickles and sauerkraut. The company was owned and operated by three generations of Steinfelds before it was sold.
      September, 2010