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Dharma Kitchen


Get Pickled with Jolene's Jar



This seems to be the week of vinegar-related posts so far. Monday, it was local apple cider vinegar. Today, it's pickled goodness. And so if you are a food person—if you are reading this I bet you are and hey, thanks for stopping by—you know that everything seems ripe for pickling these days. Canning is in full-scale comeback mode and isn't going to leave us anytime soon—especially with summer gearing up, it's definitely on the brain. Cookbooks, such as the ones written by Marissa McClellan of Food In Jars, are super popular. Have you heard about Jolene's Jar? In these jars, you will find some kickin' pickled veggies and legumes. Jolene Mirenna, who splits her time between the Lehigh Valley and South Florida, sells and distributes them locally to restaurants, food purveyors and other businesses. If you're hyper local (as in Easton), you can purchase them at the College Hill Tavern (CHT) on Cattell Street. So far, there are five different things you can try: garlic pickles with a kick, spicy bloody mary giardiniera, ginger carrots;  and za'atar cauliflower. They're a combination of classic and unique, with global inspirations. And the jars themselves, notwithstanding the contents, reflect the colorful and friendly personality of the person who created them.

The whole enterprise started kind of as a happy accident when her boyfriend, who owns CHT, wanted to put jarred foods up behind the bar; he thought it would look cool. So she did it once, just as part of the decor. But then people started asking for them. And then as it turned out, they were really good. This all happened not quite a year ago. Thus, a business was born. As she has said before, "I've been pickling my liver for years. Why not try vegetables?"

It's an entirely homegrown, small-batch kind of operation, using old-fashioned techniques and meeting them with modern, worldly flavor combos. They're free of preservatives, gluten and totally vegan friendly. All of her jars are glass Ball ones, and endlessly reusable. You can never have enough of them, I think.

Curious? Here's where you can find these pickled goods.

Green Harvest Food Emporium, Easton, Pa The Wise Bean, Bethlehem, Pa Stockertown Beverage, Stockertown, Pa Frey's Better Foods, Hellertown, Pa The Loft @ the Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa Cardena's Oil & Vinegar Taproom (the Italian Market), Philadelphia, Pa Free Bridge Wine & Spirits, Phillipsburg, NJ Nature's Harvest, Blairstown, NJ Greenway Flowers, Hackettstown, NJ