True, a classic pickled cuke hits the spot in just about any situation. Yet, there comes a time in every gourmand's life when he or she asks that burning question: "What else can be pickled? There has to be more out there!" This existential search for the pickle-able is natural and should never be ignored.
Luckily, we (and the world) have "executive briner" Shamus Jones, our sherpa to all things seasonally pickled at Brooklyn Brine. A permanent fixture on the local farmers market circuit (and now with its own 2,300-square-foot warehouse in Gowanus), Shamus first fell down the seasonal-pickle rabbit hole when a forager came to the back door of the Seattle restaurant where he was cheffing and dropped a 100 pounds of chanterelles at his feet. Not able to use/sell the entire load of the high-end 'shrooms, his team went ahead and pickled the leftovers to avoid spoilage. Results? Delicious. Now, after moving east to Brooklyn and hoping to step away a bit from the restaurant biz, Shamus's natural next move was pickling.
While Brooklyn Brine's signature product — Whiskey Sour Pickles, which are fermented in oak whiskey barrels and include a splash of McKenzie rye whiskey — has spread through the boroughs like an artisanal wildfire, Shamus and his growing team haven't lost that experimental desire to put just about anything in brine. On the shelves is a rotating line of perfectly pickled products, among which some of our favorites have become the Chipotle Carrots that boast a warm, smoky flavor and a delicate sweetness, and the Fennel Beets (medallion-shaped sliced beets brined with fennel and tarragon).
Should you be hankerin' for good gherkin however (it's natural), Brooklyn Brine does a mean Deli Style pickle, and its Hop Pickle, made with Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, is just about as perfect of a summer snack as we can think of. Keep your eyes peeled for the Brine team at summer markets like Brooklyn Flea, or at a slew of local restaurants and purveyors, to get your hands a jar of your own.