Pickled Figs from Boat Street Pickles

Posted: November 29, 2011 in Foodzie, Product Review
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Product Description:

Black Mission figs bathed in a sweet syrup of red wine, cane sugar, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and sea salt; try paring with grilled steak and rosemary roasted potatoes. Also delicious with fresh goat cheeses, bleu d’auvergne, panna cotta, or old fashioned vanilla ice cream. Serve alongside a blue cheese tarte and fresh salad greens.

Click on this link to learn more about these Pickled Figs and other products from Boat Street Pickles.

What I Think:

Oh … my … goodness!  This is GOOD!

Despite my disappointment with the changes that have been made with Foodzie (a new format and a new way they handle their foodzie tasting boxes, not to mention a new, higher price), I must admit that they sure can pick ’em when it comes to selecting some amazing items for the tasting boxes.

This might just be one of my favorite items that I’ve tried from a tasting box yet.

I love figs.  When I was young, for a short time, I remember staying at a farm somewhere in California.  On that farm, there was a fig orchard.  One of my fondest childhood memories was eating a fresh, sun-ripened fig right there in the orchard – it was still warm from the sun!  And, that is still the best way to eat them, in my opinion, and when I purchase fresh figs from the supermarket, I just can’t seem to find any that duplicate that memory.  (I have, however, managed to find a tea that duplicates the memory for me, so this is not an unattainable goal!)

And while these Pickled Figs form Boat Street Pickles do not quite match that memory for me due to the balsamic vinegar and other flavorings added to make these “pickles,” they are still incredibly yummy.  The figs taste as though they were picked and processed at the peak of freshness.  They taste plump and juicy, and just a wee bit fermented.  I love that I can feel the seedy texture of the fig, it does remind me of the texture of those tree-ripened figs from my childhood.

The balsamic vinegar adds a tangy flavor to the pickle while at the same time, it highlights some of the sweetness of the fig.  It’s a very nice contrast of flavor.  I can taste the slightly resinous note from the rosemary.  All of these distinctive flavors come together to create a sweet and tangy relish that is absolutely memorable.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to serve these … but this evening, I made a very simple baked chicken breast dinner for the family, and I decided that this would be the time that I opened the jar and gave it a try.  I scooped out a generous dollop of the Pickled Figs and served it with my chicken, and it managed to elevate what might otherwise be a slightly boring chicken breast to something quite extraordinary!  I don’t know how I’ll be able to eat baked chicken breast without this on the side now!

Tea recommendation:  actually, I didn’t serve any specific tea with this relish, since I enjoyed it with my supper.  I had a glass of Green Pomegranate iced tea (Which I brewed using this tea from Persimmon Tree Tea) – and while I can’t say that the two perfectly complimented each other since I was so busy marveling over how well it complimented the chicken – the tea worked well with dinner overall.

This would also make a nice substitution for cranberry sauce at the holiday meal.  Yes, yes, I know, that day has come and gone, but, the winter holiday – whichever you might observe – is still on its way, and this would be just perfect alongside that rib roast (if you’re serving one), or if you’re baking another turkey – get some of this.  It would even be spectacular with ham.

That is … if you don’t eat it right out of the jar before the guests arrive!

My Final Thoughts:

I LOVE this stuff.  Now, I just need to locate it.  The website does not indicate any shops in Vancouver that offer any of Boat Street Pickles products, but there are a couple of places in Portland.  Maybe I could persuade Chuck’s Produce here in Vancouver to start carrying it.  It is certainly worth the effort.

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