All Pickles Are Not Created Equal.


Pickles are as different as snowflakes. Delicious green snowflakes.

Long Island is not really known for it’s pickles but there were a few good eggs amongst the posers and wannabees.

As a kid, like many of you, I grew up on the jarred green gherkins that were nothing more than just cucumbers filled with 1,550 mg of sodium and a shit load of preservatives. Sure, the big bird that advertises the cukes, ala an avian Groucho Marx, was cool but I think that I was fed so many of these green sticks that my body is pickled itself.

To me there are 3 pickle places that I will always remember.

(1) Shoppers Village. The first place that I ever had a fresh, home made pickle was at this indoor flea-market in West Hempstead NY, called Shopper’s Village. If you are not familiar with this place, it was located on Hempstead Tpk, a block before the real shitty part of Hempstead. ( If you know Nassau County you’ll know what I mean and that I’m not just being a dick.)

This place was great. 2 floors, 300 + vendors selling all the finest knock-off pocket books, converse sneakers, the latest Def Leppard T’s and had a great little food court where all the cool kids and cute chicks with their hair sprayed up a mile high hung out.

What do you expect…the place closed like 18 years ago and that stuff was popular then.

The best thing about Shopper’s Village, the reason I got up early on a Sunday morning to hop on the 20 min bus ride, was for the pickles.

Eddie, aka, the Pickle Man had the best fresh pickles you could find. He would educate you on the pickles, show you the awesome variety and then up-sell you nicely. The end result…I’d end up walking around chomping on a huge full sour while carrying a quart for home. His company was called The Pickle People, but people knew him as The Pickle Man.  We would get his pickles for parties, for holidays, for birthdays and for anytime we went to someones bbq or party and they immediately knew where they came from.

I don’t know if Eddie is still around somewhere selling these salty treats but I did hear that the company is still selling pickles out of the Western Beef supermarket across the street and they attend many fairs and festivals on the Island.

The next time I’m in the area I need to check it out and I’ll let you know how it went.

(2) Horman’s Best Pickles

This guy was a relative new comer to the pickle marketplace and what an impression he has made. Ok, he’s been around since 2003, but I recently was lucky enough to run into him and his pickle. Ok, that really didn’t sound good…

Horman covers the island with his pickles. From Manhattan to Montauk this guy is busy selling his goods…and that is exactly what they are. Goods..damn good pickles.

From bread and butter, kosher, new dill to hot cherry peppers and my favorite….sour pickles, these pickles are classic. Those outside the classic are becoming new classics, such as the horseradish and sweet cajun. Damn, my mouth is watering as I write this.

Big bonus……they deliver via pickle mail. WINNING!

(3) The Pickle Packin Papa

Locate in a small store front in Rocky Point, NY, you will find some of the best pickles on Long Island. Joy has been pickling for about 25 years and you can taste the pickling perfection with every bite.

This place really does have the most amazing array of pickled specialties, 30 or so delicious treats. From one of the best full sour pickles that you will ever pucker for to Spanish olives, jalapeno peppers, tri-bean salad to pickled eggs.

I remember being a kid and seeing these old time movies that always had this huge jar of pickled eggs sitting right there on the bar. Hey, I love old man bars..why not give it a try. After trying them I realized why the jars always looked full.

Ok, my dislike for pickled eggs is just a personal thing, I’m sure if you like this kind of thing then you will love them, but for me..I’ll stick to the 30 something other items they have.

Support your local pickle people. It’s a business built on  passion. So get to your local pickle purveyor and pick a pack posthaste.

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