As more consumers move to local, seasonal produce from the farmers market or CSA's they often face a challenging question, "What do I do with all of this good stuff"? And long before the invention of freezers, the answer was pickling and preserving. Pickles, preserves and jams are often the best way to save the flavors of summer and help hungry foodies survive the winter. But despite an increasing interest in DIY pickling and preserving, not everyone has the time or equipment to make their own.
Happily, a number of Bay Area entrepreneurs are filling the void with quality, award-winning pickles and jams. Emmy's Pickles and Jams, founded in 2010 by Emmy Moore and Jonah Susskind, provides a dozen artisan pickles, jams and preserves. Based in San Francisco, Emmy's uses all locally sourced produce and creates their pickles and jams in an "allergen-free" kitchen.
And after taking what Moore calls a "blind leap" when they started, business for Emmy's is growing. Their Turmeric Cauliflower pickles recently won a 2012 Good Food Award and distribution is up to 30 bay area stores from 6 a year ago. Moore notes that "interest and literacy in pickles and jams has grown a lot, it's exciting" and that the benefits to consumers are clear, they "get seasonal produce all year-round that is still local."
Community Market on Thursdays.
Consumers also have a number of local options if looking for New York-style fermented pickles and sauerkraut. Founded by former tech entrepreneur Dave Ehreth, Sonoma Brinery makes kosher dills, bread & butter pickles and raw sauerkraut. Sonoma Brinery pickles are widely available in the refrigerator cases of Bay Area markets -- find a full list of distributors on their website.