Friday, August 21, 2015

NEW VLASIC FARMERS GARDEN PICKLES


Farmer's Garden by Vlasic
Never been a big fan of store bought pickles vs fresh homemade (we usually buy ours at a local farmer's market).  Someday I'll tackle making our own but until then, when we do buy regular grocery store pickles, we do like Vlasic brand.  They are always crunchy and always good.  So imagine our surprise when we were in the store recently (a grocery store out by the farm, ironically) and saw these jars.


It is something new that Vlasic is trying.  They are pickles of course, but made just like you might if you were canning them yourselves.  No fake colors, no artificial ingredients, just veggies, seasonings and distilled water.

Farmers Garden pickle jar vs Ball canning jar
They are hand packed and bottled in a jar very similar to a standard Mason or Ball jar.  Alas, I was hoping that the rings might just fit these jars but they do not.  Oh well.  The jars, once cleaned out, would still make for nice glass jar storage of things.  There are five varieties according to the VLASIC WEBSITE.

So how do they taste?  

Strangely enough, not as good as we had hoped.  Vlasic pickles are usually very crispy (they know how to do that), but these were a bit limp and the carrots were a bit mushy as well.  They might be hand packed but they are definitely over processed.  The seasonings were also a bit lacking.  In a jar such as this, I would hope to see some fresh dill, some peppercorns or maybe even some mustard seeds floating but nope, it's just the veggies and water.  There just wasn't much flavor.  In all fairness, it's possible we picked up an older jar that was maybe on the shelf longer than it should be.  There is no way to know that for certain and it wasn't near the 'sell by' date.  We appreciate the fact that they do not use artificial colorings and flavorings but feel these could be much better.  To be honest, we like their regular Vlasic pickles better. 

Alas, we think this might be more of a marketing ploy than anything else.  That is a double edged sword...on the one hand, it could make people want to try more farmers market/fresher type foods or it could have the opposite effect...make some people think "farm fresh goods aren't all they are cracked up to be after all".  And that would not be a good thing.

But hey, at least the jars are cool!


2 1/2 STARS OUT OF FIVE

11 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

thanks for the heads up. i haven't seen these yet. i am the pickle queen and am very very picky about my pickles. i like to make refrigerator dills so they don't have to be processed and then stay very crisp.

Gail said...

I think it is a conspiracy by Vlastic to increase their sales of the OTHER pickle. Make the Farmer's Garden badly and ruin the reputation of all those who sell their produce. Kidding! It would be a good marketing campaign.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Yeah...all the companies are about "Farmers Market" and "Free Range" and "All Natural" anything to make a buck. Best buys are like you guys are doing, get as much as you can from REAL farmers market or barter with your neighbors or make your won. Its impossible, well nearly, to get all your food that way but the more we do the healthier we all are. Carry on Two Men, Love your blog!

SAM said...

This was such a helpful review. I saw them on the shelf and was going to buy, but then remembered the great selection that will be coming at the farmers markets soon. I am glad I didn't buy them, as I would have been disappointed. Love your blog you Two Men!

Texas Rose said...

The taste-testers at Vlasic evidently never had a grandma or mom who canned their own pickles and would thus know how they are supposed to taste. :(
I just had some of my bread-and-butter pickles that I canned this summer - yum! :)

littlemancat said...

The very best are Claussens, sold in the refrigerator section. Crisp and crunchy!
Mary

Sue said...

Oh, I agree!! Love Claussen pickles!!

Galestorm said...

I sure do miss my Grandma and Mama's pickles. The only pickles I have ever made were freezer pickles. They were OK, better than some from the store! Real pickles seem like a lot of work for just me!. I bought some bread and butter pickles recently in a pint jar with a homey label from a company called Hiatt's. They were the worst I've ever put in my mouth! If you like a little heat in your pickles, try Wickles!

donna baker said...

I have a dill pickle recipe that I guarantee you'll never find a better one. It was even published in a Smith and Hawken Gardener's cookbook, but I will tell you, I barely recognized the recipe when they published it. Stick to mine. Let me know when you grow cukes and I'll send it to you.

Colleen said...

Silly Dilly Pickles

20-25 4 inch cucumbers

1-2 tsp. minced garlic

1 1/2 tsp. celery seed

1 tsp. dill weed

Onion, 1 slice (optional)

3 qts. Cider Vinegar

3 peppercorns

12- dried hot red peppers

2 tsp. dill seed or fresh dill

1/8tsp . alum

3 cups canning salt

12 qts. water

Place together the salt, vinegar and water.

Bring to a boil to form enough brine for1 6 - 17 qts. of pickles

Next, quarter the cucumbers into spears.

Pack into jars (sterile jars) and add each of the above spices to each jar.

There will be several spices in each jar which is necessary to obtain the tangy dill pickle spear.

Cover each jar with the boiling brine mixture and pack.

Water bath for 20 minutes or pressure cooker for 5 minutes at 5 lbs. pressure



Sweet Dills

Cut cucumbers lengthwise in 1/4's and 1 /6's

Soak in cold water for 3 hours.

1 qt. vinegar

1 cup cold water

2 cups sugar

1 Tbsp. mustard seed

1/2 cup pickling salt

Combine above ingredients and bring to a boil.

Place a sprig of dill in bottom of each jar .

Measure 1/4 tsp. of alum into each jar(quart).

Pack dills in jar and pour boiling hot pickle liquid over dills.

top each jar with a sprig of dill

Seal and water bath for 15 minutes, or 5 minutes @5 lbs. pressure in pressure canner

steakandeggs said...

I belong to quite a few face book canning groups. More and more people are starting to can and with pickles and jellys being some of the easiest things to can. I am pretty sure Valsic is starting to feel the crunch. With home can pickles you have so many options. We grow our own cucumbers and I like mine so much better than store bought.