It makes sense. Once the push for locally grown seasonal food took hold, the next logical step would be finding a way to preserve all those seasonal ingredients. Enter...pickling. Pickling—which involves preserving, marinating, and storing food in an acid base, usually vinegar—imparts a distinct sour taste to food. The trendy technique has become so pervasive it's hard to find a local menu that doesn't list at least one pickled item. City, O City offers an ever-changing pickle plate. Punch Bowl Social promotes its pickled eggs. Amerigo Delicatus Restaurant & Market lists house-pickled vegetables among its antipasto line-up.
Consumer food companies are also jumping into the fray. Esoteric Food Company in Boulder, through its line of Zuké Pickled Things, offers one of the most creative line-ups I've seen: the zingy-hot Citrus and Ginger; sauerkraut-like Dill, Caraway, and Cabbage; lively Kimchi; and the aromatic Just Juniper.
My all-around favorite—thanks to its deep ruby color and earthy taste—is the Beets, Dulse, and Kale (pictured). This combination of super-healthy kale, tangy seaweed, and luxurious beets is best piled atop a tuna sandwich or added to a bowl of bibimbap.
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