Tuesday, April 10, 2012
what a pickle...
discovering ontario's strub's pickles as a child was something of a revelation. their full-sour kosher dills in garlic infused brine could be eaten w/ sandwiches, on their own, or even, as my peculiar palette demanded, a "sour salad" creation containing chopped up pickles w/ tomato wedges, doused in white vinegar and cracked black pepper. i've spread the strub's gospel to all who would listen and relished every bite. it's safe to say i've been eating their products for 30 years, but one specific strub's item has vanished from vancouver supermarket coolers in recent years, "hot mixed pickles" (pickle quarters w/ thick green tomatoes slices and hot banana peppers rings). the safeway chain used to carry this spicy treat, but waning interest (or under-exposure???) rendered the item obsolete amongst other taste bud competing delicacies. curious to the pickles' whereabouts, i called strub's a little over a year ago. playing phone tag via a series of messages, i was directed to freybe, a local deli and cured meats food company who distribute strub's in B.C.. after another call, and the uncertainty that the product was even available (it's not featured on the strub's website), i simply gave up. my craving would have to be laid to rest. yesterday, the hunger returned. once again, i called strub's in the frantic hopes that "hot mixed pickles" still existed and received confirmation that yes, they still make 'em!!! as before, i was directed to freybe. calling langley, the head office sales rep recommended i tried IGA (one of the last regional stores to stock the pickles, and currently serviced by freybe sales reps) or perhaps the freybe retail outlet (who, after a call, said they wouldn't be able to bring in the jar as a special order). fingers crossed, it was up to IGA to save the day. dialing my local branch, i was transferred to "grocery" and a helpful staff member who took down my request and the promise that he'd inform the deli manager of my inquiry and talk to the local freybe rep on his or her next visit to the store.
so this is where it hangs friends... will sipreano taste the spice and crunch of strub's "hot mixed pickles" again or will i have to take out yet another withdrawal from my depleting memory bank to fulfill future cucumber kicks (or travel to winnipeg, the nearest city that still orders this product according to freybe HQ)??? any which way, BIG ups to manitoba's berstein's deli, food fair, and bonanza market for holding down the fort!!!
hold tight friends and pickle fans, i'll report any and all findings. and if i procure a jar of the elusive edible, party over here!@#$%!!!