Eat Your Veggies…Picklelicious
Story by Nancy Ransohoff
These are pickles you won’t mind getting into. Pacific Pickle Works, headed by Bradley Bennett, “Principal Pickle,” with business and “Pickle Partner” Emi Umezawa, produces all-natural hand-packed pickles that will convert even the most pickle-averse. Made in Santa Barbara using largely local and organic produce, varieties include original Cukarambas, dill-icious crunchy-spicy spears; Asparagusto, pickled asparagus with a just-right kick; Jalabeaños, pickled green beans with a peppery personality; Carriots of Fire, pickled carrots “to light your torch;” Fenn Shui, fennel root in a unique rice vinegar brine accented with ginger, orange zest and Thai chilies (great as a gourmet burger topping); and Unbeetables, pickled beets with intense flavor and spice. Try these as a simple yet irresistible appetizer—top a toasted baguette slice with a smear of goat cheese, a leaf of fresh basil and an Unbeetable beet slice. And what’s an appetizer without a cocktail? Stir up your own or sip a Bloody Mary garnished with Jalabeaños at Tupelo Junction or Reds. At Milk & Honey and Alcazar, the Unbeetable Martini is made with Unbeetable pickled beet juice. Keep your eyes peeled for summer arrivals of cauliflower, brussels sprouts and okra, no doubt with more pickle-punny names. Available in Santa Barbara at C’est Cheese, Il Fustino, Lazy Acres, Metropulos Fine Foods Merchant, Santa Barbara Winery, Tri-County Produce and online at Santa Barbara Company. (805/765-1779). Locations are being added rapidly, so check online for the freshest scoop.