Arts & Culture

The Big Jewcy Pickle Off

A group of pickle enthusiasts from around the world (the world being New York) gathered in a secret location (secret location being Jewcy HQ) to decide once and for all which brand makes the best pickles for Passover (and beyond). … Read More

By / April 2, 2010

A group of pickle enthusiasts from around the world (the world being New York) gathered in a secret location (secret location being Jewcy HQ) to decide once and for all which brand makes the best pickles for Passover (and beyond). The judges were a select group of (people who work at Jewcy HQ) foodies (Jew and the Carrot editor Amanda Melpolder), and some really nice guy named Len.  The pickles in consideration were a range of artisan, mass produced, and freshly made gherkins from companies like Brooklyn Brine Co., Bubbies, Guss’, Whole Foods, and Mcclure’s. Prior to the competition, a special honor was bestowed upon Ba-Tampte Pickles for their 60+ years of making what may possibly be the most Jewy pickles available on the market.

Then, the pickle eating began.  The judges were given several plates marked with a number.  The idea was to find the best "traditional" pickle available.  The judges were asked –on a scale of 1 to 5– to rate on taste, crunchiness, and to leave comments.  Here are the results: McClure’s garlic dill pickles were first, and quickly earned a unanimous thumbs down from the seven judges.  One mentioned they were "too salty…doesn’t taste that garlicky."  3 out of 4 judges gave the Brooklyn/Detroit based company’s attempt to make a pickle like "your grandmother’s dill pickles" a resounding sour face.  When asked if he’d serve these pickles to his grandmother at Passover, the judge replied: "are you fucking insane?" Brooklyn Brine Co. walked away with the "best indie" award for their NYC Deli Style Cucumbers, which had our judges debating which spices the Brooklyn briners used for their classic-style cukes.  The lowest rating given to this pickle was a 3 for taste, but the same judge said they also "had a lot of bite at the end."  It’s not confirmed whether the Whole Foods on Bowery in the Lower East Side is the only store to do in-house pickling, but according to the judges, if they are, they should probably just give up.  The pickles rated poorly with all of our judges.  The word "bland" was used over and over to summarize the taste, and the average crunchiness was only a 2.  Though Bubbie’s lures you in with a classic, old-school grandmother shtick, the pickles actually taste like: "foot", "b.o.", and " like an Israeli served me a plate of things I didn’t ask for."  The big winner of the day was Guss’ Pickles.  Mostly 5′s for both crunch and taste–the "real deal pickle."

In our battle for the best spicy pickly, Brooklyn Brine registered high again, but scared away the folks that just don’t like a little spice in their pickle.  The winner in this one was The Pickles Guys, for their New Spicy, which made one judge exclaim "holy shit, that’s some good spice."

To sum up our results: McClure’s are overrated and waaaay overpriced, Brooklyn Brine Co. is the new kid on the block, Bubbie’s Pickles are disgusting, Whole Foods should return to what they’re good at, and Guss’s ruled the day.