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Edible: Pickle Company Owner Uses Old-Fashioned Methods To Create Unique Products

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The owner of the Brooklyn Brine pickle company makes pickles in an old-fashioned manner and creates an end product of a variety of different flavors. Rachel Wharton of Edible Magazine filed the following report.

Shamus Jones has expanded his three-year-old pickle company, Brooklyn Brine, to include a storefront where you can take classes, catch a peek of the pickling and order briny goods right from the oak barrel.

Pickles will be made with seasonal specialties so scarce, they can only be made in small batches and will be slow fermented the old-fashioned way, rather than cooked with vinegar.

The barrels themselves provide flavor too. They were originally used to age whiskey upstate by Finger Lakes Distilling, which makes the booze used in a few of Brinery's creations.

"With the store and these barrels, you'll see much more of a reflection of what's in the Greenmarkets and what is becoming local and that is the mission," Jones says. "And we have the liberty of doing that with a storefront much more than growing a business with the vinegar pickles and the demand of those."

He's not kidding. The employees at Brooklyn Brine now produce 3,000 jars of vinegar pickles a day.

Sold at Whole Foods, Williams-Sonoma and Dean and Deluca, flavors include chipotle-spiked carrots, fennel-laced beets, maple bourbon bread and butters, whiskey sours, French lavender asparagus and super-spicy cukes swimming with bright orange habaneros. All are the invention of Jones, a Brooklyn native who started pickling while working at high-end vegetarian restaurants in Seattle.

"I just kept writing menus with more and more pickles on them and people would make fun of me," he says. "And then finally, when I was like 'I want to start a pickle company' and then just did it."

Want to learn more about local picklers? Save the date for Edible's Eat Drink Local Restaurant Week, which begins June 23.

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