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Food Artisans: D.P. Chutney Collective

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[Photograph: Stephanie Klose]

New York City has a long history with pickled fruit, dating back to its earliest European inhabitants. "The Dutch were huge fans of anything pickled," says Drake Page of D.P. Chutney Collective, pointing out that 18th- and 19th-century cookbooks had "pages and pages of recipes for pickling all kinds of fruit. Pickled peaches, pickled plums. I like that historical connection."

Traditionally, both chutneys and pickled fruits are "sweet and spicy condiments to complement savory foods," Page says. "They go very well with cheese, they're good with roasted and stewed meats, anytime you need to spice something up." Less traditionally, the Black Tea Pickled Dried Plums are as delicious with yogurt and granola as they are with roast pork, the Winter Spiced and Pickled Oranges in Bay Leaf Syrup are a fine accompaniment for a relatively plain cake like this one, and the Spicy Pickled Red Grapes make a tasty snack straight out of the fridge.

Like his old-timey brethren, Page pickles as a way of preserving abundant produce when it's available; at least 75% of his ingredients are local to New York City, coming from upstate, Long Island, and New Jersey. While his website lists a staggering array of products for a one-man operation—the "collective" in the name is Page's way of acknowledging all of the people who've inspired him—he points out that since they're only produced seasonally, he never has to juggle making, processing, labeling, and delivering more than 25 different kinds of pickles and chutneys at the same time. Never fear, though; everything on the site will be put back into rotation when the ingredients are available.

See the full list of products and vendors at TheDPChutneyCollective.blogspot.com.

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