When you charge $8.50 for a pint of pickles, they had better be life changing.
Sure, Wheelhouse Pickles are well-regarded, standing out from the sea of New York's artisan pickle makers. But until recently, their hefty price tag was enough to deter us. That is, until we spotted their pickled pears.
These are nothing like a dill pickle, but rather a soft, sweet bosc pear with a Japanese-influenced brine – rice wine vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, black sesame seeds, scallions, and tangerines. This inspired blend of seasonings creates a spicy, sweet, and sour flavor that you can't quite place.
Dubbed "Irma's Pears" in honor of a friend of the company, these intriguing pickles are great for eating out of hand, in a casual gourmet sort of way. But they really shine as an easy accompaniment for pork. Dish them out alongside pork tenderloin, and you've got company-worthy food in minutes. Or dress up leftovers by adding these to your next-day pork sandwich.
And since we can't justify shelling out $8.50 every week, we're eagerly anticipating the next pear season, when we'll add the flavors of this brine to our favorite poached pear recipe. We're sure it will at least be afternoon changing.
• Order Wheelhouse Pickles online.
• In New York, buy Wheelhouse Pickles at the Monday Union Square Greenmarket, Blue Apron Foods, Stinky Bklyn, Bedford Cheese Shop, Marlow & Sons, or the Whole Foods Bowery Beer Store.
(Photo by Nina Callaway)