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Pickled Produce: A Southern Tradition

By Cathy Strange, December 30, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Cathy Strange
I love finding unique and tasty products that allow us to bring authentic regional food traditions exclusively to our Whole Foods Market customers. My latest discovery is Divina Pickles, a delightful array of zesty pickled seasonal vegetables and watermelon rinds that hail from the foothills of the Ozark Mountains and the lush Arkansas River Valley. These are perfect for your New Year’s Eve celebrations! We’ve partnered with a local Southern producer, Bryant Preserving, who procures the produce fresh from the fields to make these delicious pickles. Bryant Preserving, a third-generation family-owned company based in Alma, Arkansas, produces and packs Divina Pickles exclusively for Whole Foods Market using original family recipes that reflect the long-standing tradition of American pickled vegetables. The Bryant family has been preserving fresh seasonal produce since 1947. Much of the produce used for the pickled vegetables is grown close by and are made simply without any preservatives or additives. You’ll get a real taste of the South with these unique pickles and you can find the products below on our olive bars with the exception of the Pickled Watermelon Rind, which is available in a jar. Pickled Watermelon Rind – The signature item brought to us by the Bryant family is Pickled Watermelon Rind, an American pickling classic. The family has revived their original 1947 recipe, which uses pure cane sugar in the brine, especially for Whole Foods Market. The watermelons are primarily Black Diamond variety and are cultivated for the quality of their rind. They are grown in the Arkansas River Valley, just 12 miles from the Bryant’s packing facility. The delicate chunks of sweet and tangy rind are cut by hand and the rinds are cooked in open copper kettles, which impart a subtle color and flavor. Great with paté or to eat straight out of the jar! Spicy Green Beans – Spicy, crunchy with fresh-from-the-garden flavor, the green beans are pickled in a simple brine with spices and crushed red pepper for that added zing. They are perfect for a Bloody Mary, added to a Niçoise Salad or as a zesty snack. Beware – they are addictive! Curried Squash – Crisp yellow summer squash and slices of mild red onion are pickled in a sweet-tart brine with vibrant curry spices for a modern flavor with authentic regional flair. The squash is freshly harvested and retains its crunchiness and vibrant color. The squash makes a great snack that also pairs well with an aged Gouda. Crunchy Okra – A true Southern favorite, crunchy okra pickles are made with freshly harvested whole okra and pickled in a brine with spices and turmeric. These are a perfect snack for football watching and a wonderful complement to beer. Essie’s Sweet & Sour Green Tomato Relish – A versatile and universal favorite that uses a traditional Southern recipe and is made with tart green tomatoes, crunchy okra and sweet onions. Grandma Essie’s sweet and tangy relish is perfect as a chutney or salsa condiment. Try it atop burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, in quesadillas or anywhere you use pickles and salsa! This amazing relish will be available in stores on the olive bars beginning mid-January. We hope you enjoy these pickles and that they help provide a tasty start to the New Year!
Category: Holidays 2010




Samael says ...
Pickled green beans = win!
12/30/2010 7:25:29 PM CST
training supplies says ...
Pickled is nothing new in the South. Once used primarily to preserve food, this method involves introducing foods to a brine (a solution of salt and water) and then storing it in a vinegar solution.
01/03/2011 8:53:58 PM CST
David says ...
I've tried the green beans, the okra, and the squash. Man, all three are delicious. Keep 'em coming!
01/05/2011 10:53:12 AM CST
anne kasper says ...
My Whole Foods used to carry Divina Watermelon Pickles and now doesn't. Where can I buy them? I live in Bethesda Maryland. Thx.
02/05/2013 1:03:25 PM CST
Rebecca says ...
I bought a jar of your pickled green beans from the Mississauga store today and noticed that they were kept in the refrigerated section. I'm wondering if they need to remain refrigerated - I'm assuming not, as they are canned, but want to double check because they are a gift for someone and I plan to give it in a few months.
02/24/2013 8:44:42 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@REBECCA - I would check the labeling of the product. If the item needs to be refrigerated it still state that on the label. It might say "refrigerate after opening" or something along those lines. It is possible that the store displayed them in the fridge but do not need to be in there until opening. If you are still unsure, I would suggest calling the Mississauga directly since our products vary between locations.
02/27/2013 4:09:15 PM CST
peggy says ...
Can you please tell me if you have the sweet watermelon rinds at all the whole foods markets? i went to the one in Long Beach, Calif before thanksgiving and was told they no longer carry them. I'd love to get some for Christmas. thank you, peggy
12/18/2013 3:53:43 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@PEGGY - Since we are decentralized, there are very few products that we carry nationally other than our private label line. Our buying is done at the store/regional level so it is possible they were discontinued regionally. My apologies and can hopefully check with their regional office for you to see if it was a store or regional decision or product availability based.
12/19/2013 6:42:30 PM CST