Today the Vlasic pickle concern, a little Mom & Pop enterprise based in Michigan, sent us a shipment of their new "Farmer's Garden" artisanal pickles, which will be hitting shelves in NYC in August. We're told these "simple/homemade-esque" pickles are made with "locally grown" cucumbers and come "hand-packed" in old-timey mason jars. Inside, you'll find extra large U.S. grown cucumbers "marinated in a special brine," plus whole garlic cloves, slices of juicy red bell pepper, rounds of bright carrots, and fresh herbs and spices. We can already tell this is going to be big in Brooklyn—or Breukelen, rather.
Yet not everyone is excited about this new artisanal pickle venture! Brooklyn's Bob McClure, who seems to be jumping on Vlasic's bandwagon with his own artisanal pickle company, tells us, "From a manufacturer's standpoint, there are no cucumbers available in North America, so I assume Vlasic isn't using local products during the winter months. But I'm not surprised that the big players in the pickle scene have come out with a branded batch of artisanal pickles. It was only a matter of time before they moved to capitalize on that trend. But if they're now putting out a 'farm fresh' line, what does that mean for the main line? If this is their fresh market line, what's their other line? Is it not market fresh?"
Of course, McClure might be a little biased; his pickles retail at $8.99 to $11.99 depending on where in the country you buy it, while a jar of the new "Farmer's Garden" Vlasic is expected to set you back around $5.49. Right now the varieties are Kosher Dill Spear and Kosher Dill Halves, and Zesty Garlic Halves. We tried them just now (after popping them in the fridge) and we have to agree with Vlasic's description of their zesty garlic pickles: "bold with a tangy kick." Never mind what one office killjoy had to point out: each zesty garlic pickle accounts for almost half of the recommended daily sodium limit. Bloomberg is not going to be happy about this... which actually makes these defiant pickles taste even better!