Raindrops on roses & pickles from Jersey

… a few of my favorite things.

We cracked into one of them this weekend: A bucket of Patriot Pickles. I can’t help but snag one every time we peel back the lid.

We first served Patriot Pickles by accident two summers ago, when our small, independent food service purveyor sent the wrong product. Instead of flimsy, soft, cheap pickle chips, we ended up with a gallon of crisp, cold kosher dill pickles with sharp ridges and a clean flavor — and we didn’t pay through the nose for them. That was a dozen or so buckets ago.

After the accidental shipment, we began ordering the kosher dill pickle spears and offered them with burgers, sandwiches and especially hot dogs, since they’re the perfect size and flavor profile for Chicago-style dogs. They’re incredibly durable and have proven to hold up for months. It may be the most reliable food we’ve been able to buy. You’d never guess it was a wholesale-only company.

I already was pretty familiar with Patriot, since it was located a few miles from my former workplace, in North Jersey. The first time I tried one, at Burger DeLuxe, I thought it was from a small-batch company that sold pickles at farmers markets. Turns out, I was wrong, but rumor is, one of the many pickle companies there has been known to cheat and sneak in Patriot Pickles when they’re shorthanded. (Just a rumor. I don’t work there so I’m allowed to say things like that now.)

We’ve been somewhat slow in checking to see the range of Patriot Pickle products offered by our purveyors, but this weekend was a reminder. I loved their Red Hot pickles, which I tried a few years ago, and the website indicates its offerings include pickled green tomatoes and whole half-sours. It also does custom orders.

And, friends in food service, apparently they sell across the country. Order up!

More reading: North Jersey’s in a pickle of a good kind, by Elisa Ung in The Record, August 2009.

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