November 17, 2010

Rick's Picks: RICK FIELD

Rick Field’s passion for pickles developed at a young age, when he would make them with his family as a fun activity. In his 20’s he "rekindled that interest in pickle-making and picked it up again, at first as just a casual enterprise, but over time [he] became more invested and obsessed with it, and eventually started doing it every weekend." In 2004 he decided to further explore the world of pickles and capitalized on his obsession, opening popular pickle-joint Rick’s Picks on the Lower East Side. Rick’s Picks offers a unique selection of pickled vegetables, famous for their unusual and tasty flavor combinations, and they also carry a collection of fun pickle-y apparel as well as Rick’s own cookbook, Williams-Sonoma The Art of Preserving (co-written with Rebecca Courchesne). Rick’s pickles are distributed in over 400 locations across the United States, including major grocery retailers Whole Foods, Dean & Deluca, and Fairway, and Murray’s Cheese, as well as in many specialty stores and local farmers markets.

Rick’s “picks” are truly one-of-a-kind, and as self-proclaimed pickle-fanatics we suggest that you taste one of the many varieties immediately--we recommend the Pepi Pep Peps.


When did you make your first pickle?
When I was 12.

Who makes the pickles?
They’re made in Amish Country, Pennsylvania, and in Kingston, New York, in the Hudson Valley. All the recipes are my own.

How many types of pickles do you offer?

Most popular pickle:
Phat Beets.

Strangest thing you’ve ever pickled:
Phone bill.

Most pickles you’ve eaten consecutively:
I’ve been known to put away an entire jar of mean beans in one sitting. But I do like to savor them--they’re delicious.

Best pickle-inspired dish:
Smokra Turducken: slip a sliver of mild cheese inside and wrap it in prosciutto.
I also like Friday’s Friend (particularly appropriate for Thanksgiving): Green Tomato pickles on a panini with leftover turkey, caramelized onion, and cheddar cheese.

When do you most crave pickles?
When I’m pregnant--oh, know what? There’s never a bad time for a pickle. I crave ‘em morning, noon, and night.

Why do pregnant people like pickles?
There’s a certain time of mouthwatering savoriness that people who are hungry and are feeling in a craving mentality...the pickle gets right in there. Eating pickles can be addictive! When people get pregnant their brains are rewired and they really start to want things very decisively.

Estimate how many pickles are consumed in New York City per day.

What’s your current state of mind:
Optimistic and looking forward to a nap.

Your idea of happiness:
Rolling around on the floor with my children (two eleven-month old daughters).

Your motto:
Sleep is a God, God is asleep.

Best part about your Lower East Side location:
It’s a thriving community. The Lower East Side has a lot of creative energy right now, not just in the food business but in a lot of arenas--so it’s a fun time to be situated there and feed off of the excitement that happens on a daily basis.

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