My search for the best pickles in New York continues….
Part of this pickle journey will also involve testing some spears at home. Some of the more recent pickle companies do not have factories or “tasting rooms” open to the public. But instead, their wares are available at local food markets around the city.
Rick’s Picks is one such pickle company. They’ve been in business since 2004 when Rick Field left a job in television and began making pickles. He’s most known for some of his more interesting and unusual pickle creations, like Smokra and Phat Beets. Those are well and good, but I’m sticking to the classic New York cucumbers for this review.
There are three different Rick’s Picks that would fit this style. I started with the Classic Sours which are bright green spears sitting in a low-tide brine. They were quite sour and had a strong fermented, wild flavor. But the pickle was rather soft (which can become the case with longer fermented cucumbers). The sourness on its own was intense. They would go nicely with a sandwich but on their own the flavor was a bit too funky.
The next jar I tried were the K.O. (kosher organic) pickles. This variety was a little harder to find, but I tracked it down at some specialty stores here in NYC.
When I ate them immediately at room temperature out of the jar, they too were pretty soft. Almost mealy. But after a day in the refrigerator, they turned crunchy and crisp. Hm. As for flavor, these were nicely balanced. My favorite of the lot. Behind the tangy garlic, there was a subtle sweetness that tasted like cloves or cinnamon. I could eat these on their own every day.
And finally, there were The People’s Pickles. The name implies that these are the most accessible every day pickles. They are sliced to go on a sandwich, but the slices are quite thick and it would be hard to add to most modest homemade sandwiches.
I had the same problem here with the softness on the first try, but a day later, they too transformed into a nice texture (perhaps it needs a little bit of air?) These are pretty approachable pickles. Not too tangy or overly garlicky, but with a nice round sweetness and some caraway notes (perfect with a pastrami on rye)!
So my lesson here with Rick’s Picks (and perhaps other jarred pickles), is to give them a day or two after opening. Like many things, Rick’s Picks get better with time.
Does Rick’s Picks make the best pickles in NY? They are all immediately too soft, which turns me off a bit, but after a day, they come to life and provide a nice crunchy snack or addition to a sandwich. 7 out of 10.