EMMY’S DILL SPEARS — $8ish?
I once read a anecdote about Margaret Atwood’s love for fava beans. I don’t remember the whole story, but I have this image of her shuffling to the kitchen late at night, putting cold fava beans in a bowl, and then eating them with her fingers as she walks up the stairs to her study to write. I remember thinking, “Margaret Atwood, you would love late-night fava beans.” In my mind, people like Margaret aren’t foodies, per say. They’re just people who, when they find something they love, they really, really love it. And for whatever reason, this is also how I think of Emeryville-based pickle and jam-canner Emmy.
Maybe it’s the typewritery font on the pickle jar, but I just imagine her as this scruffly literary type who loves pickles so much, she’s folded them into her weekend routine of reading books and petting cats and watering plants. Or maybe I’m thinking of myself. Either way, the effect is nothing fussy, just delightful dills. They come in a simple bottle without a lot of words on it. They’re perfectly dilled, with the slightest touch of sweetness. They have a gentle, home-canned crunch. And recently, Emmy’s started cutting them into quarters, which somehow increases both their charm and deliciousness (sometimes quartering a pickle will expose you to too much of its flavor, too fast, but in this case the effect is just right—like a cheerful accompaniment to an artist’s humble lunch).
The only thing I can’t wrap my mind around is why Emmy’s added chili flakes—and without warning, no less!—to the jar. The pickles are so hot now, I had a flashback to last week’s McClure’s tasting sesh. I can only imagine Margaret Atwood tinkering with her fava beans under strange or novel circumstances, like if she found a spanish lover or had writer’s block or saw her last work panned by the New York Times Review of Books. Let’s hope that Emmy’s unexpected addition is a result of the former, not the latter.
A 2013 “Drank The Pickle Juice” Award Winner