The pickled food trend was recently highlighted by the New York Times when Adam Davidson reported that high quality speciality food products, like gourmet pickled food, are selling well even in a down economy. Artisan food producers are finding food items that customers want and making the best quality they can. This article caught my eye because the same trend is appearing here in Wisconsin.
At the online gourmet food store, Wisconsinmade.com, the top selling food gifts are cheese, Kringles, and the surprising third place contender to people who are creeped out by things floating in jars- pickled foods. The artisan food producers at Bay View Packing Company in Milwaukee create quality pickled herring, eggs, polish sausage and more. The company owner (who I know as “Reiny”) has high standards for all of his pickled products. Once Reiny attempted to ship pickled food in plastic jars to cut down on cost but quickly switched back to glass since the quality of the product suffered in plastic. He even uses specialty boxes to ship the heavy jars of pickled food. Reiny’s attention to detail and refusal to compromise quality pay off in happy customers who keep coming back for more.
As a foodie I’m happy to see artisan food producers getting recognition but I might have to disagree with the article when it calls Brooklyn the “ground zero” of the artisanal food universe. I feel like Brooklyn might be more like a mecca, where skilled producers from all over the world go to create and sell their foods, but Wisconsin is the ground zero, since our farmers grow the crops and raise the livestock that end up in the artisanal food, and Wisconsin is home to hundreds of skilled artisans who take the raw materials and transform them into tasty culinary creations. Lucky for the people of New York and the rest of the United States, Wisconsin speciality food is available nationwide thanks to Wisconsinmade.com.