Ohio’s Own: Pork & Pickles
The alliteration in Pork & Pickles’ moniker is a promising start. But before you notice its name, the hues of its wares stand out in the refrigerator case. The business pickles everything: bright magenta beets, golden curry cauliflower, shiny onions, glowing orange carrot wedges, green jalapeño slices. You name it, it’s probably there in a jar of artisanal, high-end pickles. It’s a fancy product — one of those jars will set you back almost $12. But, it’s a fun splurge and a culinary pleasure.
Case in point: the aforementioned Curry Cauliflower Pickles. Its foundational sweet ‘n’ sour brine is reminiscent of old fashioned bread ‘n’ butter pickles. Everyone’s grandmother probably made a different recipe, but in personal experience, the cauliflower and celery were always the best bites in a jar of bread ‘n’ butter pickles. In essence, Pork & Pickles dispenses with all the useless cucumber and onion business, and delivers a jar of pure pickled cauliflower florets. The florets are still crisp enough to snap, and fully infused with a bonus aromatic accent, courtesy of the curry powder and a little spike, courtesy of some red pepper flakes.
The tagline on the cauliflower pickle label promises a product that is “local and humane.” That’s likely a reference to the pig-farming practices, but it’s still amusing to see the pledge on a jar of (animal-free) pickles.
About that pork: the Athens-based business is owned by Becky Clark, a woman who attended the culinary school at the Art Institute of Portland before perfecting her butchery skills and doing specialty gigs in the meat and salumi arena. The house pork products range from traditional cuts to more complex offerings that include sausage, bacon, ham, lard, pate and dog treats. One of the things the website mentions is that the scraps from pickle production are used to supplement the pigs’ diets, so it’s a zero-waste operation.
You can find more about it here: porknpickles.com. We found the the pickles at Hills Market Downtown.