Pickle’pinon: Alley Twenty Six’s perfect pickle plate in Durham

Before moving down to NC I began following various Durham’ites on Instagram to get a feel for my new home. Searching #durhamnc I came across an account named Get’n Pickled. What initially caught my attention (aside from the pickles) was their photo of some homemade pickle brine paired with a shot of whiskey at the Durham Distillery. You had me at pickle backs… My first week in town I met up with Greg of Get’n Pickled to talk shop. When I mentioned my unofficial pickle’pinon reviews that I did in NH, his eyes widened as he said, “I write for the local paper about beer, you should totally email the editor to pitch this pickle thing!” A week later, it was official, the editor at the Indy Week liked my idea and had me pitch a couple ideas. Up first the pickle plate at Alley Twenty Six in downtown Durham. Here’s an article from Sept. 30th, 2015 Indy Week… Photo credit to Alex Boerner.

alley

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Sweet Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns

Sweet Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns- Putting Up with ErinSweet Pickled Fiddlehead Ferns- Putting Up with Erin

Unless you drive a 45 year old cranky Volvo that you named “Pickle”… stupid really… the chances of being defeated by a pickle are slim. Of all the recipes I’ve put on this blog, I’ve only removed one: pickled fiddlehead ferns. It’s hard to remain unbiased when tasting my own pickles, but I figure that some people like different things so even the pickles that I’m not so crazy about (I usually get a second opinion) I leave up. The fiddlehead ferns that I made last May were an exception, they were horrible, salty, mushy, and just horrible! Fast forward a year to when I’m sitting at the bar at Blue Moon Evolution in Exeter, NH and I see sautéed fiddleheads on the menu… shutter. They were actually very tasty and the experience managed to negate my dissatisfaction with fiddleheads. Round two? Sweet fiddlehead pickles. Honestly, I had planned on keeping these pickles very very simple with no intention of recreating my previous mess. Who am I kidding, a simple pickle? Ha ha ha. Many online recipe suggestions and hours later, I pulled together a number of recipes as inspiration for these pickled fiddlehead ferns. Fingers crossed that this time I actually like them!

A fiddlehead is the tip of an unfurling Ostrich Fern frond, “quickly snapped off with the flick of the wrist by professional foragers in the wild.” Available for only three weeks per year (during the middle of May), they are generally harvested/foraged in the northeastern United States.

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