Picklers Bring Homemade Sours to Peck's Specialty Food Shop

By Janet Upadhye on February 19, 2014 2:56pm 

 Picklers from the The Gefilteria are making fresh, in-house pickles for Peck's at 455 Myrtle Ave.
Picklers from the The Gefilteria are making fresh, in-house pickles for Peck's at 455 Myrtle Ave.
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CLINTON HILL — They're sweet on sour.

Peck's Specialty Food Shop is puckering up for a taste of a bygone era — enlisting a trio of young picklers from local startup The Gefilteria to whip up batches of "old world Jewish pickles" in the basement of the store.

Peck's, at 455 Myrtle Ave. near Washington Avenue, sells matzoh ball soup and a variety of other foods, but does not have fresh pickles.

"They are very talented picklers," said Peck's owner Theo Peck, who is the great-grandson of the owner of legendary Lower East Side eatery Ratner's. "I like working with The Gefilteria and I hope to eventually expand the items that they ferment for Peck's."

The Gefilteria's lead pickler, Jeffrey Yoskowitz, learned to make pickles the old way — brined with salt rather than vinegar — as an intern at Adamah, a Jewish organic farming retreat center in Connecticut.

After years of pickling, Yoskowitz, along with fellow Gefilteria picklers Liz Alpern and Jackie Lilinshtein, have perfected their recipe.

The Gefilteria crew, who said they "couldn't settle for jarred gefilte fish anymore, or sub-par pickled products or other unimpressive Jewish food," also make gefilte fish, horseradish and beet kvass.

For now, Myrtle Avenue's newest kosher deli is only benefiting from the trio's pickling expertise. The Gefilteria brines cucumbers in the basement barrels for one week and produce a new batch of sours and half-sours weekly.

Still, the future holds more than just pickles.

The Gefilteria crew eventually plans to ferment sauerkraut, beans and a variety of vegetables for the shop.

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