Blog: How to Pickle, Jar & Ferment
It’s that time-tested question that we’ve all asked at one time or another. How do I pickle, jar, or ferment something? Well the good folks at Edible Brooklyn and the hosts of Brooklyn Brewery converged to put together a fantastic evening of delicious information and food at their event called (you guessed it) How to Pickle, Jar, and Ferment, on Wednesday night, January 19th. The evening was the first of the Brewery’s newly established “How to” series featuring four local businesses, more similar than different, sharing the teachings of the creation of their tasty products.
The series began promptly at 7:30pm as attendees began arriving and the vendors continued their preparation for the event. Guests were greeted at the door by confirming their Facebook initiated RSVP and handed a free drink token for some of Brooklyn Brewery’s finest selections. Once inside, the former bottling line space, now emptied, had become a makeshift classroom of sorts, serving as an auditorium for free food tastes and $4 beer pints. Each of the presenters had lined up on the left side of the spacious floor, and patrons began forming lines at each tasting station. After the 30 minute tasting and networking period had concluded, we were guided to our seats for the teachings to begin. We’ve included the links to each of these local businesses below. Each of them deserve your business and consideration.
Up first was Laena McCarthy’s, Anarchy in a Jar, a small Greenpoint based company that started up in 2009. Anarchy’s specialty is creating and preserving innovative jam, which according to McCarthy takes only “inspiration and creativity.” Her incredibly interesting discussion made jam seem interesting, even to a novice, and her display items, which included a delicious grapefruit and smoked salt concoction made us yearn for warmer weather and reach for 2 tablespoons of pectin to get started. Dipping the delicious and fresh bread in and out of Anarchy’s tasty spreads proved a welcome and unexpected surprise.
Next up were some of the tastiest pickles we can recall having in quite some time as Glen Cove, New York’s own Horman’s Best Pickles stepped up for a basic discussion on how to create your own pickles from home. Admittedly, we had a difficult time following the story as visions of tasty, crunchy pickles danced around in circles in our collective mind. The company literally brought in pickles by the barrel, with varieties including the incredibly fresh “new dill,” “dill,” “kosher,” a delectable “horseradish,” “sour,” “spicy sour,” and some “hot cherry peppers” and “sauerkraut” to name a few. The pickles tasted exactly what you would hope for from a pickle in New York- incredible flavor, garlic and dill, and a juicy punch. But beware- we cannot be held responsible if you manage to finish half a container in one sitting. We made at least 5 trips back to their counter.
Kombucha Brooklyn was the first display to catch our attention upon arrival, and their fermented, non-alcoholic teas were as delicious as they were incredibly healthy. Using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) added to the sweetened tea, Kombucha has created a monster combination of flavor and vigor, with over 30 live cultures in each concoction. We flipped out over the delicious “Red Ginger” flavor, and with almost fully poured glasses, there was not a dry mouth in the house. Nobody even looked twice as we went up for thirds.
Mama O’s Kimchee closed out the evening, presenting the traditional Korean pickled dish, sliced on plates with toothpicks for grabbing. Chef Kheedim Oh discussed the process of bringing the cabbage first and subsequently stuffing the leaves with a mixture of ingredients- fish sauce, sugar, salt, watercress- to name a few. Additionally, each leaf is carefully preserved to ensure that the freshness of the delicacy is maintained. Further, the kimchee is made only in small batches using completely natural ingredients and no preservatives.
The evening at Brooklyn Brewery was a complete success for the first in the How To series of 2011. The guests were intrigued, the hosts were welcoming, and best of all, the entire informative evening was free. LocalBozo.com left with a full belly of local food and drink, and we can only recommend that next time, you do the same.
- Jane Van Arsdale