Weeks ago, we stumbled upon a very odd sight at Roni-Sue's Chocolates in the Essex Market. Roni-Sue Kave and two collaborators were busily dehydrating pickles (Yes- pickles!), which, we learned, would be placed on top of their delicious chocolate truffles. These odd creations were being prepared in honor of International Pickle Day, which returns to the LES for a nonth year this coming Sunday.
It's been a tough time for the pickle business on the LES. In July, The Lo-Down broke the story that neighborhood institution, Guss' Pickles, was moving to Brooklyn. A century ago, the Lower East Side boasted 100 pickle push carts – once Guss' leaves there will only be two. Pickle Day acknowledges the LES's pickle past but it also celebrates the diversity and innovation that continue to transform our community.
In addition to Roni-Sue, Sunday's multi- cultural event features vendors such as Rick's Picks, Russ & Daughters, Saxelby Cheese, Sahadi's, China Food Imports, Mama O's Premium Kimchee, Peanutbutter & Company and China Food Imports. As organizers put it, samples will be available from "around the world and around the corner." Pretty much anything goes, so long as it's pickled: radishes, tomatoes, okra, cabbage, lettuce, fish, meat, carrots, beans, onions, eggs, limes, mangos, beets – you name it.
The last couple of years the festival has boasted more than 15-thousand visitors. To accomodate the big crowds, the event has been moved to the large municipal parking lot at Broome and Ludlow. The sponsors, the NY Food Museum and the LES Business Improvement District, have been joined by the NYC Greenmarket organization. There will be cooking demonstrations, children's activities and historical walking tours. There will even be free bike valet parking, courtesy of Transportation Alternatives.
International Pickle Day takes place Sunday, October 4th between 11-4:30pm.