Ridgewood, in many ways, retains that old-timey New York City feel that slips through your fingers in other parts of the boroughs. Lots of neighborhood people speak with a classic New York accent. Sometimes, you meet a white-hair with old-country inflection who tells you that Section 8 ruined the idyllic flavor of Ridgewood, and you’ll slowly back away. But most of the time, people seem content with the relative lack of change here. It’s slow.
The classic tests of “New Yorkness” in the culinary sense: Pizza, Bagel, Pickle. So when I found Eddie’s Pickles for sale in a plain glass quart jar at Seneca Garden, I breathed a sigh of nostalgic familiarity. The tiny kirbies are packaged in Maspeth, by a company that misspelled their own name on the label. They are left whole and come in kosher dill, half sour, or new. They have an expiration date about three months after when they are made, which is important! Pickles that don’t expire have been boiled for pasteurization, and since these are just lacto-fermented (i.e. brined) they won’t last forever. Eddie’s Pickles have four ingredients (plus water): cucumbers, salt, garlic, and spices. They cost $3.49 per jar.
The new pickles, which were the only type in stock on my most recent venture, taste crisply of cucumber-ness. The brine flavors the seedless cukes without softening them. The garlic, if you choose to bite into it, is still sharp and spicy, and it floats surrounded by round coriander seeds and juniper berries. The brine tastes salty but fresh; it’s completely and dangerously drinkable, and would be perfect for picklebacks, if you are into that sort of thing. I have pickled cucumbers and string beans in this brine after eating all of the original pickles. They are never as good as the originals, but still: no salt water is wasted in this home. My grandfather, originally from St. Albans, another old neighborhood of Queens, would be proud of my thriftiness.
601 Seneca Avenue [map]
Eagle Pickle Works
5730 59th Street [map]
Ari writes about her food finds in Ridgewood. She tweets @arispool.
Big points for not using the word “artisanal!”
I love this style of pickle. I’ll have to pick some up next time I’m in Queens.
Sorry about the misspelled name on the label. That was a printing error on our printers part….looked at older lables and Eagle Pickle was spelled correctly! Thanks for a wonderful review, we havebeen making pickles for over 55 years now, and love that our costumers love the pickles as much as we do!
These are some of my favorites!
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I’ve been dropping in at Sarge’s Deli in Manhattan for many years, and the particular delight of eating there are the pickles they put out on the table when you sit down. I usually eat the whole small bowl of them before any food arrives. For several years now, I’ve been searching for their equivalent in stores, and of the maybe 40 different types I’ve tried, none came up to the ones at Sarge’s. They were good, even excellent, but they weren’t the same. Well, a week back, I picked up a bottle of Eddie’s Sour Pickles (that’s the entire name, and only on the top of the lid, nowhere else) at the Associated Supermarket in Greenpoint, got them home and voila! – they seemed to be the same pickles I’ve enjoyed at Sarge’s all these years. I’m now on my 4th bottle in about 9 days, which is probably doing nothing for my salt intake, but I just don’t care. They are perfect sizewise, smooth but crunchy, exactly the right salt content, etc. and totally delicious. If they don’t kill me, I’ll be eating them until I die (but will do so happily). Congratulations!!!