Bubbies and Golchin, Bread and Butter vs Giardiniera
September 22, 2014
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Today I’m going to talk about two very different pickles. The first are the Bread and Butter chips from Bubbies. Basically, I thought these were absolutely delicious. They had a light sweetness, not too cloying, with some nice crunch and mouthfeel. You can tell by the picture that I rapidly finished off the whole jar. Definitely a recommend if you like Bread and Butter pickles. Bread and Butter pickles are cucumber slices, pickled with some sugar, onion, fennel and celery. Giving them a sweetness and mildness, contrasting with the ubiquitous dill. These would go good with a sandwich or when grilling. The story is that their name comes from the fact that when money was in short supply, you could put some of these pickles between some slices of bread, and they would work as a sandwich on their own. I didn’t try this with the Bubbies, but I could definitely see putting them between a couple of slices of pumpernickel, maybe with some brown mustard, and that could be a meal on its own. Although, I might like mine with some kettle cooked potato chips or something. The second type of pickle, is a mixed pickle. Giardiniera (which I can never spell right) is an Italian style of pickle. It usually cauliflower, carrot, and celery, often with red pepper, olives, onions, etc. pickled in oil and salt. This version from Golchin (a Persian food company) is pickled in vinegar with a little bit of ascorbic acid. Giardiniera is often a little side dish with a lot of light Italian foods, or you can see it on a plate with olives. Sometimes the peppers in it are quite spicy. I am bit more used to the olive oil based version, which has a much richer flavor, although I guess the more traditional Italian version is with vinegar. Overall, the Golchin version was decent. Vegetables had a nice flavor, maybe a touch too salty. However, it seemed to be missing a bit of pizazz. I put some freshly ground black pepper on it, and it opened the flavor up quite a bit. It is interesting to me that this mix is very similar to the Persian pickle known as Torshi, which is maybe why Golchin is selling it. The whole big jar was only 3.99, so I think that is quite a deal, as in essence this serves as a ready made small salad type accompaniment for many meals. Again, I didn’t really love it, but as it is not as heavy as the olive oil based versions, it would be a lighter accompaniment for food. You could keep a jar in the cabinet, and break it out if you wanted to add a bit of something colorful to a plate. Overall, giardiniera is one of the most beautifully colored foods which can sit in a jar for years in the cupboard before you crack it open, so it deserves some credit for that all on its own. In terms of this offering from Golchin, it’s okay, but I am not in love with it. I much prefer some of the wide range of more spicy torshi type “mixed” pickles that Golchin sells. However, other people like more mild fare.