It’s November 14th, and, whereas nowadays there is a national holiday for everything, today is “National Pickle Day!” If you really think about it, they are quite the perfect food. A healthy snack alternative, they are a huge hit with adults and kids alike. What’s a picnic without a dish of pickles? It’s a must for some burger lovers, and a better option over potato chips when you are craving something crunchy. Sweet or dill, super crunchy or not too crunchy, there’s a type for everyone. But, have you ever found something so well made that you want to share it with the world? Well, that’s why we are making “Grillo’s Pickles” today’s Monday Muse.
I, myself, prefer a pickle that is super dill. When our family went dye free a few years ago, I started paying more attention to ingredient labels and discovered that MANY brands of pickles contain petroleum based food dyes yellow #5 & yellow #6 for that “green color” and preservatives to keep them shelf stable. Gross! That is not how a cucumber looks coming off the vine! I also found most shelf-stable pickles just didn’t have that garden to jar fresh taste that so many of us grew up on.
That’s when I stumbled upon Grillo’s pickles at my local grocery store. The first thing I noticed is that they were in the refrigerated section. Secondly, they were the regular color of a cucumber and the juice they were stored in did not resemble that of a sci-fi movie lab experiment. They also had peppercorns, sliced garlic, sprigs of dill and even grape leaves (I would later find out the grape leaves are what Grillo’s uses to help preserve their pickles as opposed to unpronounceable preservatives). These pickles, dare I say, looked vurrry homemade, like ones you might find in your Grandma’s kitchen.
It goes without saying, these pickles tasted like everything I could have hoped for and more. We always have at least two containers in the house at all times (easy to eat Dill Chips for lunches and Spears for snacking at home). I have 3 boys and these pickles go quickly! My father in-law, who came from a large Italian family that grew and pickled many of their own veggies, claims these are the best he has ever had! In fact, before they were available in his grocery store, he would stock up on them when he came to visit.
More than just a great tasting product, the story behind these pickles is an inspiring one. Owner, Travis Grillo, began making pickles at night with his family’s one hundred year old recipe (that’s where that real homemade taste comes from)! During the day, Travis and his friends would sell two pickle spears for a $1 in downtown Boston, spreading the word and getting more fans. Soon Whole Foods Markets began carrying his products. Even the Boston Red Sox asked to feature the pickles. Now, Grillo’s can be found in grocer chains across the USA making them readily available to pickle connoisseurs everywhere. Even though Travis’s little wooden stand has grown into a widely-known successful brand, as they state on their website:
“…..not much has changed. At its core, the company will always be Travis and his buddies spreading the word about these awesome pickles, just like years ago in the Boston Common. The pickle itself hasnʼt changed, either. Itʼs still garden-fresh, all-natural, and refreshingly delicious. We think itʼs the best pickle in the world.”
I know that I, my family, and the rest of the PGG couldn’t agree more! So, go get some Grillo’s and Happy National Pickle day to all!!