{Tasting} Farmer's Garden by Vlasic

Ok, before you get confused or jump down my throat - I know what you're thinking - pickles? Those aren't sweets, or dessert, what are you doing blogging about pickles?!  Well, since it's summer and there will inevitably be days when it's too hot to bake and only so many frozen treats I can feature (though I can assure you, there will be plenty to come); I thought it would be a good idea to write about foodie events or happenings that I have the privilege of attending.  For my non-NYC readers, I hope I can give you a little glimpse into summer here in NYC.   

Suggested beverage pairings for the tasting
A couple Wednesdays ago, I had the opportunity to attend an exclusive tasting at the David Burke Kitchen restaurant in Soho, where Vlasic gave an enjoyable preview to their new Farmer's Garden pickles.  As implied by their name, these pickles are created using fresh, locally grown cucumbers and hand-packed into mason jars with aromatic herbs and spices.  

Hors d'oeuvres - cheese, honey & olives, eggplant/tomato/ricotta crostini, chili & lime lotus chips
After getting off the subway and walking a few blocks in above 90 degree weather, the complimentary cold drinks and finger foods were a welcome sight.  The David Burke Kitchen had a homey feel - open and bright, with colorful accents scattered throughout the space.  I was able to meet and mingle with fellow bloggers and foodies before we gathered around for the pickle-making demonstration.  

Chef Mark Susz explains the pickling & packing process
With the assistance of two fellow foodies (including Margaret, of Savory Sweet Living), Chef Susz took us through the pickle-making process - which, begins with making the brine (ingredients include water, salt, vinegar, aromatics - such as dill, and tumeric for coloring). Then cucumbers are sliced and hand-packed into mason jars with fresh garlic, red peppers and carrots.  Finally, the brine is ladled into the jar and the lid is sealed.  It's as simple as that!  From farm to your local grocer's produce section, to our table.   

We were then seated and presented with small plates to taste - beginning with the pickles themselves.  The plain kosher dill pickle and their zesty garlic pickle.  Both were equally crunchy - the zesty garlic had a nice kick of spice!

Pickleback granite
The Pickleback granite served as a palette cleanser - but I wished I could've had a larger serving... so light and refreshing, perfect for that scorcher of a day.  How cute is that cucumber cup?

L-R: David Burke Pastrami Salmon, Bison Tartare, Chicken Club on pretzel roll
The main tasting quickly followed - we were served a trio of bites - all of which, incorporated the Farmer's Garden pickles.  All were quite enjoyable, except I discovered that I'm not too fond of tartare - especially beef/bison.  It was actually my first time trying it and I think the idea of raw meat just did not sit well with me.  My favorite was actually the salmon - which is pretty surprising, because if you know me, you know that I'm not a big fan of fish.  The combination of horseradish, capers and red onions complimented the salmon quite well.  

David Burke's cheesecake lollipop tree
We ended the evening with David Burke's signature dessert - cheesecake lollipop trees, which I've actually tried once before at DB's other restaurant, Fishtail.  They are decadent, the perfect sweet treat to balance out all of the sour and savory eats.  My taste buds were quite pleased - and even more so when we were presented with a gift bag, which contained two glorious jars of Vlasic Farmer's Garden Pickles to take home! 

I must confess, I've been happily snacking on the pickles straight from the jars for the past couple weeks - I never realized how much I love pickles...so cold and crunchy!  Thanks, Vlasic for the "sneak-peek".

Look for the new Vlasic Farmer's Garden pickles in August at your local supermarket (in the produce section). 

Disclosure: I was invited to attend this complimentary tasting by Vlasic through my registration with Bakespace's TECHmunch.  All opinions are my own.