Top 5 Heirloom Pepper Varieties for Pepper Lovers to Grow

“The best heirloom pepper varieties for home gardening”

Carson City, NV, November 18, 2017 – The pepper is among one of the most beloved crops in the whole world. They are found not just in grocery stores and local markets but in many backyard gardens as well. The fact that more gardeners are now growing them right at home is proof to the immense popularity of this delicious crop. Newly planted pepper plants are a common sight at the start of every gardening season, especially in households that love peppers.

In particular, heirloom pepper varieties have a huge following within the gardening community. Gardeners simply adore them for their remarkable colors, shapes, sizes and flavor profiles. Whether they are hot or sweet, heirloom peppers offer distinct flavors that make alluring to pepper-loving gardeners.

“If you’re a serious pepper lover, you can easily get the best flavors if you grow your own heirloom peppers,” says an heirloom gardening expert from Home and Garden America. “Heirloom varieties are nothing like the peppers you can buy anywhere; their flavors are far richer and tastier than non-heirloom types. Once you try an heirloom pepper, other types of peppers will always taste inferior to you.”

According to the expert, homegrown heirloom peppers have the best taste of all because they are fresher. They can be harvested straight from one’s garden and enjoyed right away. For pepper lovers who wish to have pepper plants of their own, the Home and Garden America expert recommends these 5 heirloom varieties:

California Wonder
Since 1928, the California Wonder has been the standard of all bell peppers. Decades have passed and this variety still remains the all-time favorite for gardening, thanks to its sweet flavor, thick flesh, bright colors and high yields. Now a staple in the kitchen, the California Wonder is the perfect choice for pepper lovers who enjoy stuffed and grilled heirloom peppers at home.

Cayenne Long Red Thin
As the name suggests, this heirloom is known for producing long, thin and bright red peppers. Ever since the seeds became available in 1883, the Cayenne Long Red Thin has been used both as a spice and a medicinal remedy. Extremely hot and packed with flavors, these little hot peppers are suitable for pickling, canning, drying and making chilis and salsa.

Thinner and longer than the average bell pepper, the Cubanelle comes in a yellow-green color that turns red when left to ripen. This delicious type of sweet pepper has long been part of Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisines. Ideal for roasting, stuffing or simply adding aromas to dishes, the Cubanelle is a must-try for sweet pepper lovers.

Early Jalapeno
Those who want a head start in the gardening season can go for the Early Jalapeno. The variety takes its name from the city of Xalapa (also spelled Jalapa) in Veracruz, Mexico. This hot chili is an early crop that ripens much quicker than other types of Jalapeno peppers. Pepper lovers who are crazy about Mexican dishes will truly love this heirloom.

Originating from the Mexican mountains, the Serrano is famous for its extreme heat. Although similar in appearance with the Jalapeno variety, this heirloom is actually 5 times spicier. Characterized by its bright, juicy, crispy and tangy taste, the Serrano gives that much-needed kick in salsas and pico de gallo dishes. Chili pepper fans will certainly have a blast growing this hot heirloom in the garden.

From bell peppers to chili peppers, there are plenty of choices in heirloom pepper varieties to plant at home. Once the planted pepper plants are ready to harvest, the real fun starts for the pepper-loving gardener.

More information about heirloom pepper varieties are available at

About Home and Garden America
Home and Garden America is the gardening division of the Charles C Harmon Co LLC. The small family-owned business offers non gmo heirloom pepper seeds for home gardening.

Media Contact
Company Name: Home and Garden America
Contact Person: Chuck Harmon
Phone: 888-582-6650
City: Carson City
State: Nevada
Country: United States

New Braunfels Business Education Partnership Committee Seeking Books

The Business Education Partnership Committee is looking for gently used or new books to help fill the Kits for Kids.  These books get distributed to households throughout New Braunfels and Comal County to help assist in getting reading materials to young readers in households where they may not otherwise be available.

We are looking for books for readers ages 3 years to 9 years old with a beginning reading level.

Books can be dropped off at the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, 390 S Seguin Ave, New Braunfels, TX 78130.  If you have a large amount of books that need to be picked up that can be arranged as well by calling Rusty Brockman at 800-572-2626 or Chris Snider at 830-626-1123.

Pickle Festival returns to Rosendale Nov. 19

by    –   HV1

Kathleen Perry of Rosendale’s Perry’s Pickles at Picklefest 2013. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

It may seem hard to believe, if you haven’t actually been the one doing all the work, that the Rosendale International Pickle Festival has been around for two decades now. It was founded by local garden center proprietor (and now town historian) Bill Brooks, his wife Cathy and their friend Eri Yamaguchi, who missed the traditional tsukemono of her homeland. What started out as a Japanese dinner party for 200 soon turned into a celebration of all things pickled that attracted about 1,000 people the first year, and by now, 5,000 or more annually. From the beginning, it has also been a fundraiser that benefits several different community projects in and around Rosendale each year.

The Pickle Festival returns to the Rosendale Recreation Center this Sunday, November 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A highlight is always the county-fair-style competition for home-fermented concoctions, but it’s also a fun gathering for those more interested in tasting pickle products than in creating them. Of the 100 vendors setting up shop both inside the Rec Center and in and around the large tent outside, about a quarter will actually be selling pickled foods of myriad descriptions, including the legendary deep-fried pickles-on-a-stick. Other prepared foods to round out your meal, in addition to crafts and packaged gourmet products, will also be available for sale.

Repeat visitors know to expect live music and dancing from many ethnic traditions — as diverse as there are types of pickled foods around the world — for most of the day. Late in the afternoon, the Pickle Triathlon gets underway. It starts with a Pickle-Eating Contest, in which contestants vie to consume the entire contents of a small jar of Mount Olive Pickle Spears in the shortest period of time. Next comes a Pickle-Juice-Drinking Contest, where contestants are tasked with downing 24 ounces of brine through a straw. The final event, the Pickle-Tossing Contest, is a team effort: The pitcher tosses a pickle chip to the catcher, who must catch it in his or her mouth, then spurt it into the counter’s jar. Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are conferred upon the top three winners in each category.

The Brookses have been trying to retire gradually from their management of this event for about three years now, with the Rosendale Chamber of Commerce now the official Festival sponsor. But they’re still the ones to contact if you want to enter some of your own specialties into competition. Eligible categories in the Home Pickling Contest include Kimchi, Dill Pickles, Sweet Pickles, Pickled Onions/Garlic, Dilly Beans, Pickled Fruit, Pickled Beets, Pickled Veggies, Pickled Brussels Sprouts, Chutneys, Fermented Liquid or Semi-Liquid Products and

Miscellaneous. A Best of Show ribbon will also be awarded.

Competitors are limited to up to three submissions in any combination of categories, and are asked to submit two jars of the same item for each entry (one for display, one for the judges to sample). Each jar should be labeled with the nature of the contents plus the entrant’s name, address, phone number (including area code) and e-mail address. You can drop them off at the Rec Center by 11 a.m. on the day of the Festival (judging begins at noon), or arrange an appointment to drop them off earlier in the week by e-mailing

Admission to the 20th annual Rosendale International Pickle Festival costs $5 per adult; kids get in free. Pets are not permitted on-site, and the event goes on rain or shine. The Rosendale Community Center is located at 1055 Route 32, just south of its intersection with Route 213. To find out more, visit or

It’s chili-cooking season again

By  The Joplin Globe

Chile with jalapenos

I don’t measure when I make chili.

Never have, never will.

I come from a long line of no-measure chili cooks. Well, I guess it wasn’t a long line, mainly just my dad and my grandmother, but it was a line. So to be technical, let’s say that I come from a not too short but not too long line of no-measure chili cooks.

My dad’s recipe for chili used measurement words, such as “some” and “a few” and “one or two,” but you can get away with that when you’re making chili.

That’s because chili is always open to interpretation. Making chili is the cooking world’s version of jazz. You can do whatever you want when you make chili as long as, at some point, you somehow end up with chili.

When it comes to making chili, there really aren’t any rules — unless you’re involved in some sort of official chili competition, which to me takes the fun out of making chili.

When I make chili, I’ll use one onion unless I feel like using two. I try to pair my ratio of onion to my ratio of green pepper. Once I have my onion to green pepper ratios worked out, I proceed to my jalapenos, tomatoes and spices.

Of course, all of this is predicated on the amount of meat I use. The technical term for the amount I use for my chili is “a lot.”

When my dad was a kid eating my grandmother’s chili during the Great Depression, the technical term for the amount of meat she used was “not much.” The technical term “a lot” was saved for the use of beans in my grandmother’s chili.

Thankfully, we aren’t living in the Great Depression — at least not yet — so I don’t put beans in my chili.

When I was younger, I not only put jalapenos in my chili but I also poured jalapeno juice into the mix. I don’t do that anymore because … well, because I got married and when you get married you stop doing things like pouring jalapeno juice in chili. You also stop smoking cigars in the house.

Marriage changes a person is what I’m saying.

I started thinking about chili because, as I’m writing this, it’s sort of cold and rainy outside. It’s your basic dreary fall afternoon. Dreary fall afternoons are perfect for chili. Actually, just about any time is perfect for chili, but dreary fall afternoons are really perfect.

The other reason I started thinking about chili is because Thursday will offer the Holy Grail of sorts for area chili fans.

Well, the chili won’t be served in a Holy Grail, I’m thinking that would be sort of sacrilegious. Thursday is the successful end of a chili lovers quest in the form of two separate chili meals being served up in two separate communities.

In Joplin, folks will be serving up great chili and great vegetable soup at the Joplin Association for the Blind and Low Vision Center located at the corner of Fourth Street and Schifferdecker Avenue. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The cost for the meal, which includes dessert and a drink, is $7 for adults and $3 for children. As it has for the past several years, the culinary department at Franklin Technical Center will help a host of volunteers prepare the meal. Carryout meals are available by calling 417-623-5721 or by fax at 417-623-1968.

In Carthage, the folks at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, 1156 Grand Ave., will be serving up chili and vegetable soup from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and again from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The cost is $6.50 for adults and $3.50 for children 12 and younger. Along with chili or soup, coffee or tea and pie will be served. Carryout orders may be placed by calling 417-358-4902.

Japanese pickles are the key to getting kids to eat greens, Danish gastrophysicist says

BY    –   The Japan Times

Ole G. Mouritsen is interviewed at the Royal Society in London on Oct. 17. Mouritsen and chef Klavs Styrbaek cover the history, science and aesthetics of Japanese pickles in a new book. | KYODO

A prominent Danish gastrophysicist has made a bold claim: He believes he can get children to not only eat broccoli but enjoy it too.

Having spent the last decade researching and writing on Japanese cuisine, professor Ole G. Mouritsen has turned his attention to tsukemono (Japanese pickles), and believes they are the key to getting children (and some adults) to embrace vegetables.

Tsukemono — vegetables, fruit or flowers that have been preserved in a pickling ingredient such as soy sauce, sake or vinegar — are a mainstay of the traditional Japanese meal. There are believed to be around 4,000 varieties in Japan.

Japan has one of the lowest obesity rates in the world. Mouritsen emphasizes that while tsukemono is neither the sole reason for this nor the sole answer to obesity issues in countries like the United States or Britain, “it is one of the suggestions from Japanese cuisine to make vegetables more interesting and more accessible.”

“I always get scolded when I say this, but there’s a reason why people have problems eating vegetables and that is because they’re not tasty enough,” said Mouritsen, a physicist who works on the science of gastronomy and cooking, a field known as gastrophysics.

At a recent event hosted by the Japan Foundation in London, Mouritsen talked about the science and history of tsukemono.

According to Mouritsen, pickling infuses vegetables with umami (a savory taste) and creates mouthfeel, both of which are generally accepted to be essential to the enjoyment of food.

An added bonus is that some preservatives like shio kōji — a seasoning made from salt and rice treated with mold spores — convert carbohydrates into sugar, making the vegetables sweeter, less bitter and much more acceptable to younger palates.

Individual vegetable consumption thus increases, making people’s diets healthier, Mouritsen suggests.

Mouritsen was first introduced to Japanese food by a colleague when living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia, as a visiting professor in the early 1980s. He was immediately captivated, and he has since visited Japan many times for research.

“What really intrigued me was eating at a counter. You can see the craft and the skills; there’s a deep respect for the raw ingredients and an understanding of flavor,” he said. “What a sushi chef would do, (present a piece of sushi) in his hand, put it in front of you — I think this is something very fundamental within human food culture.”

This interest has led him to write books on sushi, seaweed, umami and mouthfeel, and he was appointed a “goodwill ambassador” of Japanese cuisine by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 2016.

A keen cook himself, Mouritsen says: “I never use a recipe. What I enjoy about cooking is that if you know a few basic things you can always make something that is delicious and is a good dish.”

His top tip for making tsukemono is to dry the vegetables destined for pickling until they look tired and boring. They will then absorb water and flavor during the marinating process, resulting in a delicious, crunchy taste.

“You just take whatever vegetables you like and cut them in small pieces — broccoli, radish, cabbage — put them in a plastic bag, add a teaspoon of shio kōji, shake it, put it in the fridge, and then just after an hour it’s already changed,” he said. “Sometimes you may want to keep it there for the next day or two days later, and it gets more and more flavorful.”

Mouritsen’s latest book, co-authored with chef Klavs Styrbaek, is about the science and history of tsukemono, as well as its aesthetics and production techniques. The book, titled “Tsukemono,” is currently only available in Danish but is being translated into English for release at a later date.

It’s National Nacho Day! Here’s where you can get the cheesy stuff in Columbia

BY SUSAN ARDIS   –   The State

Tijuana Flats celebrates National Nacho Day with $5 nachos Tijuana Flats

Monday, Nov. 6, is National Nacho Day and you know you want them. In their perfect form, there’s nothing better — crispy, warm, slightly salty chips and gooey melted cheese. You can stop there or embellish with added ingredients like sour cream and jalapenos, refried beans, onions, salsa, pulled pork, chicken, bacon… we could really keep going.

If you think about it (but not too hard) nachos are basically the perfect food. You can have it as a snack (chips + shredded cheese + microwave = glory) or bulk it up for a meal (see El Nacho Man or Loco Nachos below).

Here are some recommendations for nachos in the Columbia area and some fun facts that you can crunch while munching on the classic cheesy chips and salsa combo.

Yesterday’s El Nacho Man is epic. Although classified as an appetizer on the menu, El Nacho Man — with your choice of chicken ‘n’ green chilis, beef ‘n’ beans or vegetairan black bean chili and topped with cheese, black olives, scallions, lettuce and tomato with sour cream, salsa and guacamole on the side — will easily feed two or three. 2030 Devine St.,

Tijuana Flats has a deal on Monday: $5 nachos with the purchase of a protein item. Nacho bowls come with chips, queso, melted cheese, choice of filling, toppings, guacamole, and side of salsa. 106 Percival Rd., or 5318 Sunset Blvd in Lexington,

Publico gives you the choice of salsa, queso or guac served with chips or the fancy Cuban nachos — black bean corn relish, pineapple, salsa verde, monterey jack cheese and fresh guac (you can even add braised chicken, pork or beef confit!). 2013 Greene St.,

Tacos Nayarit offers traditional style nachos with chips, rice, beans, your choice of meat, queso, lettuce, pico and cheese. For a little bit more, you can add more meat or queso. 1531 Percival Rd.,

Real Mexico has nachos, sure. Fresh chips served with your choice of beans, beef or chicken, topped with cheese, jalapenos and sour cream. BUT, Real Mexico also has Loco Nachos! Those are chips topped with your choice of chicken or steak and refried beans, loaded with cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes, sour cream and guac. 2421 Bush River Rd.,

Did you know

▪ The story goes that, in 1943, wives of US soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in Texas were on a shopping trip just over the border in Mexico when they ducked into a restaurant for a snack. The restaurant was closed, but the maitre d’hotel, a man called Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya went into the kitchen and invented a dish using what he had in the kitchen — tortillas and cheese. Anaya cut the tortillas into triangles and fried them, added shredded cheese, heated the chips to melt the cheese, then added sliced pickled jalapeno peppers. The dish was known as “Nacho’s especiales,” over time the name was shortened to nachos.

▪ Nacho cheese, that ubiquitous yellow cheese sauce that you find in ball parks, movie theaters, fast food restaurants and gas stations, is a form of processed cheese mixed with peppers and spices.

▪ According to Wikipedia, on April 21, 2012, the world’s biggest serving of nachos was made by Centerplate at University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas, United States. It weighed 4,689 lb and contained 765 pounds of nacho chips, 405 pounds of salsa, 323 pounds of tomato, 918 pounds of meat and beans, and more than 2,200 pounds of cheese.


Pickles Pair Perfect With Long Workouts and Races

by    –   Men’s Journal

Image via Getty

Ask any endurance athlete his beef with sports nutrition products and he’ll tell you they tend to be sickly sweet. Citrusy drinks, chocolate goo, and fruity beans are tolerable for the first dozen miles but can turn revolting in the final stretch—just when you need energy to power through the finish line.

For your next race or intense training session, try an ancient fueling method: pickles. Legend has it that Julius Caesar fed them to his troops for increased strength and determination, and modern medicine affirms that pickles’ sodium acts to replenish the electrolytes lost through sweat during vigorous exercise, says Sarah Koszyk, R.D.N., a Sand Francisco-based sports nutritionist and distance runner.

Pickle juice, studies have shown, can also prevent muscle cramping. “The acidity of the vinegar cues the brain to tell the muscles to stop contracting and relax,” Koszyk explains. Mustard may have the same anti-cramping effect, she adds. While that puts a Chicago-style dog this close to race fuel, we don’t recommend it.


BY    –   Nerdist


Pickle Cupcakes – Image by Delish

We’re really not sure how to feel about this recipe. Cupcakes are a wonderful thing, and on the other side of the flavor spectrum, pickles are a delicious treat. There’s no reason people shouldn’t enjoy them but should they be enjoyed within the same bite? A recent YouTube video released by Delish would like to argue that they can be.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve watched that video a couple times and are still on the fence about what these things would taste like. A recent post on Bustle takes the side that briny and sweet treats should never come together but we’re still of two minds about it.


If you’ve never experienced the flavor euphoria of combining salty and sweet then you’re missing out on joy in your life. Pickle cupcakes are a somewhat off-putting idea, but is it really so different than the amazing combo of chocolate and potato chips? Try pairing some M&M’s with a plain Lay’s potato chip sometime or dipping a Wendy’s french fry into a Frosty and enjoy your life as the newest resident of Flavortown, population: you and Guy Fieri (probably). Also, the addition of whiskey to the cupcake’s frosting has us thinking these can’t be that bad. Head into a trendy bar these days and you’re likely to see a Pickleback on the menu; it’s not like these flavors are exactly strangers.


The combination seems risky to us for possibly ruining two great things. We fear the positives of each side would cancel out, resulting in a sum that’s somehow less than. We’d feel safer snacking on pickles while making cupcakes and then enjoying a well-deserved switch to the sweet side of things when they cupcakes are out of the oven. Plus, who enjoys warm, cooked pickles?

But what do you think? Have you tried this sort of recipe before?

Wordwise: Of chile the pepper and Chile the country

By Gerald Lauzon, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder

Chile peppers, to spice up Wordwise a bit. Postmedia Network

From early contact in Central America between Spanish explorers and Aztec folk, local spicy peppers — primarily the jalapeño type — were noted as “chiles” (pronounced “chill-ays”).

Other similar fruits were also tagged as “chiles” — a term which had the indigenous sense “hot-to-the-taste.” Later, hot peppers were more specifically named for the terrains where they mostly grew as in these examples: jalapeños from Xalapa, poblanos from Puebla, serranos from a Sierra Mountain region. Spanish and Portuguese explorers then took chile plants and seeds to see if they would grow in their home countries and in trade-affiliated Asian countries near and around the South China Sea (India, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and China). Most chile pepper varieties thrived in the new tropical environments.

Before and during the 1900s in the U.S. and Mexico, “chile” was the usual written form for a hot pepper while “chili” referred to a hot-pepper sauce to which beans were commonly added, With meat also mixed in, the dish was called chili con carne: “chili” for the sauce and bean combination, “con” for “with,” and “carne” for “meat” (linked to “carnivore”). As appreciation of one or another type of piquant chile and chili concoctions increased around the world, there evolved in the U.K. and Europe the spelling variation “chilli.” Today, all three forms are practically interchangeable for such products.

Let’s now consider the South American country called Chile. Its name is not related to the hot pepper source. This word, pronounced “chee-lay,” is from a different indigenous language (Mapuche) with the meaning “edge of the land” as appropriate to the country’s being mostly a narrow 4,000km long coastal area bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean and to the east by the Andes Mountain Range, and between Peru to the north and the ocean-bordered southern tip of the continent.
The word pepper, as originally denoting the piquant table seasoning shaken or ground over a plate of food, is derived from the Latin term for small berries from a plant called “piper” (pronounced like “pee-pair”). When explorer Christopher Columbus first arrived in the Caribbean area, he was introduced to jalapeños, the taste of which reminded him of the sharpness of the food-enhancing cracked-open small “piper” berries as used in Spain. His taste association thus led to the fleshy-walled, tube-like fruit also being called “piper” with similar application to the English equivalent “pepper.”

As such zesty peppers from America gained popularity in Spanish cuisine, some prominent person with a knowledge of Latin (common among nobility of the 1600-1700s) who, being quite taken by the various colorful hues of the fruits from deep green to bright red and glowing shades in between, may have remarked, “Quales pigmenta bella!” (What pretty colors!). Thus, a common aspect of “piper” and “pigmenta” likely meshed to yield Spanish descriptives for a chile pepper as “pimento” and “pimiento.”

Snicker if You Must, But Seattle’s Pickling Movement is Impressive

Salty or sweet, funky or fresh, these preserved foods improve every meal.

 CHELSEA LIN – Seattle Magazine

Image Credit:
Hayley Young
Scoop up some of Britt’s Mix, a relish of cauliflower, carrots, celery and peppers.

There are few foods as polarizing as pickled foods: You either love the fermented funk of these preserved foods, with their vinegary punch and abrasive saltiness, or you can’t stand ’em. We’re happily in the former camp. And in our current culinary scene, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what can be fermented or brined, be it cauliflower, cherries or even the occasional herring.

Chef Renee Erickson was Seattle’s pickling pioneer, pickling fruits (cherries, plums, figs, etc.) under the Boat Street Pickles label. Sadly, after more than 20 years, those pickles are no more; fortunately, there are others to fill the void.

Pickled foods provide a necessary contrast to foods that are too rich, and they are a healthy way to add intense flavor without fat. If you’re looking for locally preserved produce, these purveyors are our jam—find them at your local specialty grocer.

Britt’s Pickles
The Britt of Britt’s pickles is Britt Eustis, who built a career in marketing and distributing produce to mainstream grocers. His reverence for simple vegetables shows in his process; unlike heat-treated vinegar pickles, Eustis’ are fermented naturally (broken down by lactic acid bacteria) in oak barrels. The resulting pickles (five cucumber variations, plus kraut and kimchi) are tangy and salty, and are claimed to be very healthy for your gut.

Our Pick: Britt’s Mix ($8/16-ounce jar) is a take on giardiniera (an Italian vegetable relish of cauliflower, carrots, celery and peppers that is especially big in Chicago), making for an aggressively salty, addictively crunchy combo. It’s available in jars at Britt’s Pike Place Market flagship store and in bulk bins at PCC stores. Pike Place Market, 1500 Pike Place, No. 15; 253.666.6686;

Stopsky’s Pickles and Preserves
The beloved jewish deli of the same name closed its doors in 2014, after three years on Mercer Island, but its pickles live on. Its head pickle purveyor is Katy Lauzon, who worked at Stopsky’s Delicatessen and helped develop recipes for the limited list of products: giardiniera, olives, pickles, beets and brandied cherries.

Our Pick: By smoking Castelvetrano olives over apple wood, Lauzon has matched the firm, buttery fruit with a really pleasant smokiness that would be great in a martini or simply for snacking ($12).

Seattle Pickle Co.
A lifelong Seattleite, founder Chris Coburn grew up picking produce: blackberries up the street from his Queen Anne family home, and fruit and veggies from U-pick farms in Duvall and Skagit Valley. His pickle recipe is a family one, with flavors reminiscent of the salty Puget Sound waters, he says. The menu of products—sweet pickled beets, spicy beans and variations on the signature dill—is short, but each is distinctly flavorful.

Our Pick: The slightly sweet spicy green beans ($12) are so good on their own, they’re hard to put down; in a Bloody Mary (the company also makes a mix for that libation), they’d be downright irresistible. 888.819.6961;

Firefly Kitchens
Like Britt’s, this line of more than half a dozen different kimchis and sauerkrauts is naturally fermented, making Firefly popular with the health-conscious farmers’ market set. You can find them seasonally at a number of local markets, and year-round at the Ballard Sunday market. Cofounders Julie O’Brien (who is the owner) and Richard Climenhage launched the business seven years ago. If you have the opportunity, sign up online to take one of their fermentation classes.

Our Pick: As much as we love the classic kimchi, it’s the Emerald City Kraut ($7.99)—a blend of green cabbage, kale, sea salt, coriander, dill, turmeric and red chile peppers—that we keep coming back to. 206.436.8399;

The Quickle Pickle Upper
There’s a tiny amount of work to be done before enjoying Quickles ($5), made with a pre-packaged pickling concentrate: You must procure cucumbers (or really, whatever vegetable suits your fancy) and cut them up. But then the Quickle concentrate turns your boring bowl of produce into delicious pickles overnight (the kind you needn’t bother canning because they’ll be gobbled up quickly).

Our Pick: We particularly enjoy the sweet-style Quickles, reminiscent of the bread-and-butter pickles grandma made every year. They say the pickles taste great with peanut butter, but we love them on a burger. 206.659.9394;