Boat Street Pickles

Pickled raisins are keeping me up at night.  I toss and turn and shake my fist at the sky over the hours of lost sleep that I’ve instead devoted to conjuring up unexpectedly delicious ways to consume a jar of pickled raisins.

 

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Pickled raisins, for Pete’s sake.  If anything, they sound, well, I dunno, not nearly as divine as some of the other condiments I’ve recently fallen in love with.  They don’t sound disgusting, by any means, but, raisins?  Pickled?  Really?

 

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But, that was before I sunk my teeth, or more aptly puckered my mouth, at the tart and tangy and oh-wow-these-are-really-effing-good Boat Street Pickles Pickled Raisins which are lining the shelves, alongside plums and apricots, at Artisan Cheese Company.  Working there has become a curse.  A curse, I tell you!  One where I am forced to consume such delightful and unique artisanal goods that I am now a sleep-deprived, well-fed zombie who can think of nothing but cheese and what I will pair it with next.  Damn you, Louise, and your goddamn amazing palate and your proclivity to stock your store with perfect products.

 

 

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Now, the term pickled raisins seems far from average.  Now those words ring out such a sweet sound that I’d honestly consider naming my first born after them.  Only if it’s a boy, of course.  Could you imagine a little girl named Pickled Raisins?  That would just be weird.

So what’s the story on these divine little edible gems?  Well, we’d have to backtrack to Boat Street Cafe, a gem all its own, located in a hidden courtyard near the Seattle waterfront.

 

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“Once through the floor-to-ceiling French doors, one is charmed by the bright, sophisticated interior dressed with simple accents of French culinary treasures collected over the years by chef and owner, Renee Erickson,” says the restaurant’s website. “The black slate tables, fresh flowers, and a canopy of antique parasols draw one to the white marble- topped bar that bears many jars of pickles made in-house.”

 

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From the cafe came a variety of pickled fruits and veggies, which have now become “an essential element of the Boat Street pantry and are sought out by many of the café’s patrons.”  There is so much more to know about Boat Street Cafe and Renee – I highly suggest you learn more here as it is a truly wonderful culinary story.

 

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So, yes, there are a bunch of different pickled items but it’s the pickled raisins that have really delighted my taste buds to no end.  Cured in a syrup of cider vinegar, mustard seed, thyme, arbol chili and a bay leaf, these large golden raisins take on a sweet and tangy taste that linger in your mouth and affect the flavor of everything they are paired with.  So far, I’ve mixed them with a bazillion different cheeses, salads and side dishes and have yet to be disappointed with the results.  Boat street suggests: “Use as a wonderful paring with roasted pork loin, or grilled fresh sausages.  For a great side dish add the raisins to couscous pilaf or coleslaw salad with cider vinegar, olive oil and fresh parsley.  Or gently warm pickled golden raisins in a skillet with a spoonful of olive oil, add a splash of champagne vinegar, chopped parsley & toasted pine nuts, spoon over sea bass or sole.”  My friends over at Food52 even put their pickled fruits on ice cream and pound cake.  See what I’m saying – sausages, ice cream, coleslaw and bass …the possibilities, both sweet and savory, of these pickled wonders are endless – hence my sleepless nights of plotting out tomorrow’s pairing.

 

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If you can get your hands on these – and you can since you can buy them at Artisan Cheese Company (Don’t live in the Sarasota area?  No bother, I hear airline tickets aren’t too bad these days – see you soon!) – then SCOOP THEM UP.  Seriously.  Give them as gifts, surprise your guests with an unexpected taste sensation, or just hoard them and swim in a pile of pickled goods like Scrooge McDuck did with his gold coins, because, friends, these pickles may not be better than gold, but they sure do come close.

 

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Ha.  Pickled raisins.  Of all things.

 

 

 

 

Some images courtesy of:
Food52
Boat Street Pickles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • ArtisanCheeseLouise

    No need to buy them from the internet when you can get them at Artisan Cheese Company. Just saying.

  • charcharcool

    scrooge mcduck. yes. my hero.

    • greenbergmegan

      hahaha. i love you.