Pickling and Curing – Everything Old is New Again or The Dream is Alive in Portland

Isn’t it funny how life comes in circles? The quest for something new often harkens back to another era. Here’s my story…

It was September, 2011 and I was working with Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern to develop a pickle we could use for the Just Food Let Us Eat Local fundraiser. Mike met me in the prep kitchen in the basement of GT. The prep crew had left for the evening and there were only a few of the morning line cooks around.

I had brought a couple different pickle samples to show him. We were talking about them and tasting them while across the prep tables, two line cooks were talking about creating a sodium alginate ravioli sphere of some flavor. Mike stopped all of us and pointed out the interesting juxtaposition, “On one side of the table, a centuries old scientific food process – pickling – and on the other side, the very modern scientific process of molecular gastronomy.”

Two different tools, both worthy of exploration in one of the best restaurants in the country.

Less than a year later, and pickling and fermentation are among the hottest food trends of 2012. So hot that they inspire satire – we can get on board with that. In 1890s Portlandia (and Brooklyn) everything old is new again:

We Can Pickle That.

And you can pickle that too…  email me to take a class or buy some kraut.

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