Meet New York Winner Sour Puss Pickles
Posted on Thursday, July 28th, 2011 in Pickles by Sandy Johnson
Brooklyn couple Chris and Evelyn started their pickling business, Sour Puss Pickles, in 2009. The idea was to turn their hobby and love of being in the kitchen into a business that would allow New Yorkers to enjoy delicious seasonal produce all year long. Today Sour Puss Pickles has five employees all of whom are kept busy with the various projects they have going on.
When I ask Chris what he is currently working on, it seems as if he doesn’t know where to start. They are making four new sauerkrauts, which include a horseradish-mustard variety with cabbage and a curried apple ginger. They also have several new pickled products coming out including golden beets with cucumber and mint and white cucumbers with fennel. In addition, Sour Puss Pickles is opening a new store front in a market which has rehabbed old shipping containers into retail or food outlets and will now be selling all their products there.
With all the new varieties of pickles they are developing, one might wonder where the owners of Sour Puss Pickles get their inspiration. Chris explains that living in New York allows for innovation: “our influence stems from our environment, for example, I live in a Caribbean neighborhood and many of those influences seep into our consciousness.” The complex flavor combinations present in many of the Sour Puss Pickle products are a result of the company’s location in a large city where flavors from many different cultures are fused together. Pickles also have a historical significance in New York. Chris explains that pickled products came over with Eastern European immigrants during the early twentieth century. Since pickles only require cucumber, salt, and water, they were essentially a poor man’s food that could be bought for less than a nickel. Today the owners of Sour Puss Pickles try to maintain the simplicity of these old recipes, while also ensuring that their ingredients are of the highest possible quality. Another goal for Chris and Evelyn is to keep their prices low so that more people can gain access to their good food products.
As newer members of the food industry, Chris and Evelyn are proud of their Good Food Award especially because of its association with other good food producers that have been producing sustainable products for years and really stand behind their products. Chris explains: “It has meant a lot of different things over the past months but it made me realize how necessary it is to adhere to these kind of sustainable practices, to be part of a movement that can get on the loud speaker and say this is what we should be doing, we need to hark back to how it used to be.”