Until a few years ago, I hated pickles. In high school, I almost threw up when I saw a guy on the side of College Avenue in Oakland chugging pickle juice from a jar.
But I do love vinegar, and so slowly I came around. Cornichons really paved the way for me. So when Riba suggested first stop pickles, and Alexis was across the street and sort of hungry-speedwalking towards the barrels set out under the awning on the sidewalk at Guss' even before Riba had finished her sentence, I happily followed.
It was pretty exciting. There were all sorts of pickles as well as other sorts of pickled vegetables, and once we agreed on our selection, the guy behind the barrel reached in, bagged them up, and traded us some small change for some good pickles.
First, we tried the sour pickle:
As you can see, it lived up to its name. As did the spicy pickle, which was next in this particular pickle flight. They were bright tasting, slightly cool, and very crunchy.
We finished those standing on the sidewalk, and were ready for more. So Alexis shelled out the thirty cents or so it took to procure a pickled tomato:
Okay, the face was a bit gratuitous because it wasn't very sour. In fact, it didn't taste like much. Maybe pickled tomatoes is one of those acquired tastes, or perhaps it's a food whose actual time has come and gone and which is drifting along on the nostalgia of another generation.