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!