The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

NYC Pickle Festival: Disappointment

October 8th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Posted in food news

Everyone loves a good pickle

Everyone loves a good pickle

We were totally smitten with New York City’s “International Pickle Festival” last year. Set in a classic Lower East Side streetscape in the old pickle district, it had all the low-key energy and charm of a block party. With great anticipation, we made the return trip last weekend only to find that the festival had been moved to a parking lot some blocks away where you could almost hear the charm being sucked right out of it.

 The scene was more like a rush-hour traffic snarl, with interminable lines of folk waiting to sample pickles. Getting from one point to another was a headache. Even so, if you kept moving, you were bound to find someone handing out free samples.

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There were lots of different pickles to see: fresh dills, half-sours, spicy, mustardy. Naturally, I was drawn to the okra pickles.

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Many of the vendors returned from last year. I like the retro-looking McClures label. They make a fine pickle, too.

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There aren’t nearly enough international pickles. But there is plenty of kimchi.

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Like I said, the crowds were daunting. I could not believe how long people waited in line for pickles. Some vendors circulated, distributing pickles from buckets.

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Our spirits were restored over a terrific late lunch in the garden at Da Nico, far exceeding my expectations of touristy “Little Italy.” The fried calamari were exquisite. I had a pistachio-crusted halibut that was deftly prepared.

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The best part of the day by far was traveling to New York on the ferry from Red Bank, New Jersey. Sure beats driving. Friends Tom and Debbie kicked back on the quarter deck and soacked up the view.

Ain’t Manhattan grand?

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  • espringf

    Hey, McClures! Made in my own back yard! Tasty pickles, glad they’re local…but sheesh, are they expensive! I’ll stick with my crock o’ cukes, thanks…