Anyone tried the new pickle store in the Market yet? I did, and I was hoping it would be something like The Pickle Guys in the Lower East Side of NYC, but I didn't care for the pickles I tried. It could be, though, just a matter of taste. My beloved spicy pickles at TPG are new and packed with chiles; Britt's were fully soured and had pickling spices. The half sours to me tasted fully soured, and I detest fully sour pickles. But I'm interested to hear from those that might like that sort of thing.
I've been snacking on samples as I walk by on my way to lunch, and I've liked everything I tried with the exception of the black garlic (it was somehow too sweet for my tastes). I've never had half-sours before, and I'm generally a fan of all things vinagered.
Well, I've sampled Britt's pickles and can say that they're a very good addition to the Seattle scene. I make my own pickles (not always successfully), and I'm from Brooklyn so I do have some strong opinions on the subject.
To set facts straight; Britt's does not use vinegar (only salt brine) in it's process. This is the traditional NY deli method. And, it's not so easy to get the exact proportions and storage environment just right.
I think that Britt's has a variety to suit every taste and certainly compares well to any local pickle and to the better commercial offerings (e.g. Bubbie's). The other day I think there were at least 6 spice varieties plus sauerkraut. And, there are plans for pickled tomatoes.
As far as the definition of "half sours" you have to remember that once started the fermentation process continues. So, today's half sours are tomorrow's (or at least 3 or 4 days hence) fully soured.
I'm a fan of Britt's but I'll continue making my own garlic dills every September (so I'll be unlikely to be a buyer).
Shouldn't they be called sour then, when they've passed the point of no return? Even the Batempte jarred kind stay half sour for a while before they start turning. Anyway, interesting to know that others like these. I have a pretty good approximation of the Zabar's and The Pickle Guys' recipes so I make my own.
PCC in Redmond had a Britt's sampling about 2-3 months ago; I was completely smitten with the first jar (I've forgotten the names, but it's the one that's slightly hot). It had a great slightly smoky flavor that was extraordinary and the pickles had great crunch. I was in heaven, drank every drop of the brine, and also called the phone # to tell them how fantastic a product I thought it was.
The second jar was a huge disappointment, just pale limp and almost tasteless, couldn't finish the pickle even. Subsequent checks have shown bottles a few weeks past the sell-by date still on the shelf, not a good sign.
I've been unable to bring myself to try another jar yet, but I do hope they survive the growing pains.
I really like Britt's pickles. I'm really hoping his black garlic kimchi gets approved by the WA state food board or whomever he's waiting for approval on.