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Add pickle chips and other pickled vegetables for a cocktail garnish. Photo courtesy Jill Johnson | In A Pickle.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

STEPHANIE ZONIE is a contributing editor at THE NIBBLE.

 

 

November 2013

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Condiments

Best Pickle Brands

Page 8d: Pickle Brands I To Q

 

This is Page 8d (page 12) of a 13-page article, the continuation of reviews of the best pickle brands. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

 

Brand Reviews: I To Q

 

In A Pickle

Sold Shelf-Stable

Website

  • Signature Spicy Pickle Spears. Serving size: 1 oz (28 g/about ¾ spear). Sodium content: 170 mg. Sugars: 6 g. Contains high fructose corn syrup, Polysorbate 80, artificial flavors, natural flavors, and yellow #5. A good balance of sweet and spicy, with an undertone of what wine writers call “shoe polish,” found in some Bordeaux wines. It’s not a negative term if you like the aroma of cordovan shoe polish and the associated hint of flavor. Medium spicy with a long finish.

 

 
Sophisticated labeling, good for gifting. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

Jammin’ Crepes

Sold Shelf-Stable

Website

  • Honey & Spice Jersey Pickles. Obtained at the West Windsor (NJ) Farmers’ Market. One of the few pickles encountered that uses honey as a sweetener.
  • The pickles are sliced very thin. They look very pretty in the bottle, but are too thin to be “finger-pickin’ pickles.” Best for sandwiches and salads.
  • No nutrition information.

 

 
Jammin’ Crepes’ Jersey pickles. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

Jeffboyardee: Kickin Pickle Company

Sold Shelf-Stable

Website

  • Serving size: 1/4 cup Sodium: 149 mg. Sugars: 11 g. All natural ingredients.
  • Sugar & Spices Pickles are available in Mild and Hot. The slices are thicker than most. The Mild are nicely sweet and balanced; the Hot have an elegant kick: medium heat with a long, long finish. [FAVORITE]
  • The Hot pickles are loaded with sliced onions, red and orange bell peppers, especially attractive (although the label could use a re-design to match the elegance of the pickles).
 
Jammin’ Crepes’ Jersey pickles. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

Michael Flores Thin-fully Delicious Pickles

Sold Refrigerated

Website

  • Serving size: 2 Tbsp (28 g). Sodium: 230 mg. Sugars: 11 g. Sold shelf-stable. Contains preservatives, Polysorbate 80, natural flavoring, and yellow #5.
  • As the name implies, the slices are very thin and delicious. There’s just enough sweetness with a light touch of heat.

 

Mt. Olive Pickles

Sold Shelf-Stable
Certified kosher by The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations

Website

  • Kosher Baby Dills. Serving size: 1 oz (28 g, about 1 pickle). Sodium: 260 mg. Sugars: 0 g. Good crunch. Jarring, unpleasant flavor with a similarly unpleasant aftertaste. Contains preservatives, natural flavors, and yellow #5.
 
Thin-fully Delicious pickles. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.
  • Petite Snack Crunchers Kosher Dill. Serving size: 1 oz (28 g, about 3 pickles). Sodium: 310 mg. Sugars: 0 g. Good crunch, but very bland, with an unpleasant aftertaste; no dill presence at all. Dill is not listed as an ingredient. Contains preservatives, natural flavors, and yellow #5.

 

Oma’s Choice

Sold Shelf-Stable

Website

  • Bread & Butter Pickles. Serving size: 2 oz (60 g). Sodium: 95 mg. Sugars: 14 g. Sold shelf-stable. Not very crisp. Strongly sweet, followed by a “hit” of vinegar and a mellow blend of spices.
  • At this writing, the company sells pickles only in lots of one dozen pint jars.

 

Ozark Pickle Pantry

Sold Shelf-Stable

Website

  • Ozark Hot Sweet Tangy Dill. Serving size: 5 pickles (57 g). Sodium: 290 mg. Sugars: 10 g. Contains sodium benzoate, Polysorbate 80, natural flavor, yellow #5. A nice contrast of sweet and heat, with a complex layering of spices
  • Ozark Sweet Tangy Dill. Serving size: 5 pickles (57 g). Sodium: 140 mg. Sugars: 10 g. A nice dill presence and a good crunch, but the sweetness that’s initially appealing gradually becomes cloying. Contains sodium benzoate, Polysorbate 80, natural flavor, yellow #5.
  • Ozark Sweet Tangy Dill Hot. Serving size: 5 pickles (57 g). Sodium: 140 mg. Sugars: 10 g. A nice contrast of heat and sweet. Contains sodium benzoate, Polysorbate 80, natural flavor, yellow #5.

 

 
Ozark Pickle Pantry. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

Paul’s Gourmet Foods

Sold Refrigerated

Website

  • Some of the most unusual pickle varieties I’ve run across. No nutrition information. All are delicious, hand-packed into deli-style plastic containers. There are both Favorites and Runners Up from this producer. Overall, our favorite producer in this article.
  • 3/4 Sour. Very good crunch for a ¾ sour pickle. As they should be, these are more strongly-flavored than some other pickle types.
  • Adobo. Delightfully crunchy, charming flavor.
  • Asian. Not tried.
  • Bacon. This pickle contains bacon bits (according to Paul, the Health Department won’t let him use real bacon). A great crunch, with more of a vinegary/herbal/salty flavor than a bacon taste.
 
Paul’s Gourmet Foods hand-packs pickles in deli-style plastic containers. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.
  • Barbecue. The brine for this pickle has a tangy-sweet note, but the pickles didn’t have any noticeable barbecue flavor component.
  • Blueberry Lemonade. A wild-looking purplish-blue brine with actual blueberries in it houses these pickles. Great crunch. The dominant flavor is “pickly” (vinegary/herbal/salty) with a hint of lemon, but just at the end there’s a note of berry.
  • Cranberry Horseradish and Horseradish. Lots of horseradish in the brine. The bright red cranberries make an attractive garnish. [FAVORITE]
  • Hot & Spicy. Not tasted.
  • Jalapeño Pineapple. A bit unusual, our least favorite of an excellent line.
  • Lemonade. Although the pickles are in a lemonade brine, there’s no lemon flavor here. Crunchy and “pickly.”
  • Mustard. The brine here is an opaque yellow, evidence of the mustard present in it. There’s a bit more sharpness to the brine, but it doesn’t overpower. Great crunch to the pickle. A good choice for a sandwich.
  • Red Beet Horseradish. A delight for beet lovers. [FAVORITE]
  • Smoky. A great idea to add some smoke to a classic dill. [RUNNER UP]
  • Sweet & Hot. Not tried.
  • Sweet & Sour. These have the somewhat less crunchy texture of a sour pickle with only a moderate “sour” taste. Interesting.
  • Tabasco. Not tried.
  • Tropical. Chunks of mango and kiwi are in this brine. The pickles are very crunchy, but there were no “tropical” flavor notes.
  • Wasabi. A hit with wasabi lovers.

 

Perky Pickles

Sold Shelf-Stable

Website

  • Hot Bread & Butter. Nice visual contrast in the jar, with onions, bell pepper, mustard seed, and some pieces of habanero contrasting with the green pickles.
  • Mustard. These are the only pickles tasted for this article that might possibly contain gluten, as flour or cornstarch is used as a thickening agent. These pickles are in an opaque yellow brine that looks, appropriately enough, like thin mustard. Moderate to good crunch. A sweet/tangy/mustardy/vinegary flavor. Good.
  • No nutrition information.

 

Pickle Licious

Not Shelf Stable (sold from barrels at farmers markets)

Certified kosher by Va’ad Harabanim, The Rabbinical Council of Bergen County (NJ).

Website

  • Half Sour. These are fermented pickles, without vinegar. Great crunch. A judicious hand was used with the herbs/spices. Good.
  • Kosher Dills. Most notable for their incredible crunch. Some vinegar “bite”, slight pepper presence, but only a hint of dill at the finish.
  • New Pickles. These are fermented pickles, without vinegar. Very crunchy! These closely resemble fresh cucumbers, of course, as they are only lightly pickled. Fresh-tasting, and there’s a nice, light hand with the herbs/spices. Good.
  • Sweet Pickle Chips. Contains corn syrup (not HFCS). Salt is not listed as an ingredient in these pickles, but according to a company representative, these do indeed contain “a little salt”. Not as crunchy as the other varieties, perhaps due to the thinness of the slices. Sharp vinegar “bite” with a lengthy, somewhat cloying sweetness at the end.
  • No nutrition information.

 

Picklena

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Website

  • Cool. Serving size: 28 g. Sodium: 100 mg. Sugars: 1 g. A nicely balanced bread and butter pickle: just sweet enough without being pronouncedly sweet.
  • Hot. Serving size: 28 g. Sodium: 90 mg. Sugars: 1 g. The hotter sibling; like Cool, restraint is the name of the game. The sizzle is light enough to be enjoyed by almost everyone.
  • These are smaller jars with attractive fabric tops in different colors announcing “Cool” or “Hot.” They’re definitely “giftier” than many other pickles.
 
Smaller jars with “gifty” packaging. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

The Pickle Guys

Sold Shelf-Stable

Certified kosher by Rabbi Shmuel Fishelis; Brooklyn location certified kosher by Va’ad Hakashrus of Flatbush

Website

  • These are fermented pickles, without vinegar. Sold refrigerated.
  • 3/4 Sour. As should be expected from a more fully sour pickle, these are less crunchy, though there is still a decent crunch to them. Briny, salty taste, but the blend of spices and herbs is terrific. The garlic adds flavor without overwhelming. [FAVORITE]
  • Horseradish. As you can see in the photo, there’s a lot of horseradish floating in the jar. A horseradish lover’s delight.
 
Hot and horseradish (the “white” jar). Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.
  • Hot. Lots of chopped chiles and their seeds decorate the brine. The pickles are medium-hot, not burning but with a long sizzling finish. There’s a hint of lemon in the brine.
  • New. Very good crunch, fresh-tasting cucumbers. The degree of pickling is light, but there are complex and delicious flavors going on, including a lilt of lemon. [FAVORITE]
  • Sour. Modestly crunchy, with a strong, robust flavor. The full-on sour pickle experience.

 

Continue To Page 8e: Pickle Brand Reviews R To Z

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