Old-World Pickling: Puckers Gourmet

Puckers Front

The pickles cure in oak barrels anywhere from 36 hours to 5 weeks.

By Liz Clancy Lerner

For most babies, the first solid food is something like sweet potatoes or bananas.

Hannah Goldman's first food was a large kosher sour pickle.

That was twelve years ago. Today Hannah's parents, Jude and Kelley Goldman, run Puckers Gourmet, a Greenwich-based pickle, sauerkraut, and kim-chi company.

They've only been a company for eight months, but have already won a "best in show" award at an international pickle competition.

Jude Goldman's love of pickles started as a boy, when his grandfather would take him to Guss' Pickles on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for kosher sours. Eight years ago, when Jude moved to the Capital Region, he couldn't find pickles like Guss' -- so he started to make his own.

So, what's the secret to his pickles and kim chi? It's an old-world way of pickling: lacto-fermentation. According to Jude, Eastern countries have used this method for hundreds of years. It requires no heating and no chemical preservatives; it's mostly salt, water, and a touch of vinegar.

Puckers Kimchi CU

The trick is to find the right combination of spices and fermentation time. Depending on the type of pickle (or pickled food), the vegetables stay in their barrel anywhere from 36 hours to 5 weeks.

There's no milk in the process, as the "lacto" might suggest. Lacto-fermentation pickle makers used to use whey, but Jude and Kelley don't.

It All Started with a Farm Stand

Puckers Pickle Window

Making pickles was a hobby, but the idea for Puckers Gourmet began with Kelley and Jude's son Max. He wanted to build a farm stand - the kind you see selling goods on the side of the road. Jude worked all summer to make one and eventually put it out on their rural road in Salem with 10 jars of his pickles on top.

The family left to go out to breakfast and came back to find an empty table. Jude initially thought they got robbed, then he checked the jar for money. All were paid for.

After some initial hesitation about making this more than a hobby, Kelley agreed to support the idea.


Jude cut down the time he spent working as a photographer. Kelley spent less time at her job as a makeup artist. By July of 2010 they were making pickles and selling at farmers' markets full time.

Since then, their motto has been, "if we're going to be pickle makers, we're going to be the best pickle makers we can be."

During the summer months they get their cucumbers and vegetables from local farms. In the winter months, they ship their vegetables in. Jude says, "If you think they're good now, just wait until you eat them in the summer, when the cucumber comes from down the road."


Puckers Award

In the Fall of 2009, they took 2nd and 3rd place awards in the Rosendale International Pickle Festival for their dilly sweet pickles and pickled mango and pear. The following year they won "best in show" and another first place award for their pickled creations.

Puckers Kimchi

Where to Purchase

Puckers Store

You can find Puckers Gourmet at the Glens Falls, Troy and Schenectady farmers' markets, but also at eight different stores in our area: Honest Weight Food Co-op, in Albany, Pioneer Food Co-op in Troy,
Cambridge Food Co-op in Cambridge, 
through delivery with Battenkill Creamery out of Salem, 
Oscars Smoke House in Warrensburg,
Putnam Market in Saratoga, 
Four Seasons in Saratoga, Fred the Butchers in Clifton Park,
 Sanders Meat House in Balston Spa,
The Green Grocer in Latham, 
Kelly's Feed Store in Queensbury and at their retail operation in Greenwich, though you may want to call ahead for hours.

Right now they make super sour pickles, 1/2 sour garlic pickles, country dilly sweet pickles, sour krunch kraut, sweet bavarian kraut, fire habanero kraut, New York style kim-chi, and fire habanero pickles.

Puckers Habanero

If you're into heat, definitely try the habanero products. They have a recipe for a spicy bloody mary using the habanero brine on their Facebook page.

Find It

Puckers Gourmet
39 Rt 4
Greenwich, NY 12834


A dream, a lot of hard work and the guts to go for it. As sappy as it may sound to some, it's the American dream

I love these guys! My fridge will only allow their pickles and sauerkraut to be put in it - no substitutions!

These sound great! I can't wait to try some. Thanks for the heads up.

Yum! I'll have to try these pickles. The fire habanero pickles sound intriguing.

Mmmm! My mouth is watering! Thanks for the info about where to buy. Four Seasons is just two blocks away from where I live.

great pickles! and they also make a nice gift.

Oh yum! We will look for these at Honest Weight.

These are the pickles you put way back in the fridge, so you don't have to share them with your family!

Closest to the kind we made when I was growing up. Parents came over from Poland and pickles and kraut are staples.

I bought a jar of Puckers Pickles (garlic) at the Colonie farmers market a few weeks ago, and they lasted only a short time in my household - we LOVED these pickles!!! Unfortunately, Puckers Pickles have not returned to The Crossings... not when I've been there, anyway. :(

@Ellen: I've seen them at the Schenectady Greenmarket on recent Sundays.

LOVE their pickles!

I bought a jar of horseradish ones two weeks ago at the Schenectady Greenmarket and they were delightful. They also do a great half sour.

Puckers Gourmet is now on St Rt 40, just north of the 40/29 round-a-bout, still in Greenwich.

I can't stop eating Dilly Sweets... and the kraut... it's so good. I'm eating it right now, just plain with a fork. My salt intake this week is going to make the Sch'dy "sodium savvy" peeps cry.

I love these pickles and can't find to buy! A local restaurant, Schlotsky's, serves these pickles. I love them, so asked what brand name they were. Is there anyone who can help me out? I'm in Huntsville, AL.

@Sharon - You can ring up Adventure in Food Trading. They are a wholesaler. You need to buy in quantity. And I'm not even sure if they'll ship out of state. But it couldn't hurt to give them a call and ask very very nicely.

Best kimchee I have ever had. And I have had kimchee from all over the place since I was a little girl!! Their deli pickles are one of the best also!!

I would like to buy one of those wooden barrels to start fermenting sauerkraut in, but where to make the purchase? The barrel top has to come off so I can shred the cabbage in and ladel the kraut. Yours very truly


Also try:
www.lexingtoncontainercompany.com, for more serious stuff (brandy barrels)

I picked up a jar of NY Super Kim Chi this past summer. It got lost in my refrigerator until now. WOW is the best word I can use to say about this kick butt Kim Chi. My Niece came back from Korea where Kim Chi is a daily food. She said it was dynamite! Keep on fermenting!

first got your pickles and kim chi at warrensburg garage sale. Look for you every year and buy some hope you'll be there again. LOVE your kim chi but all of it's good

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