Pickled with rosemary and ginger. These were a crowd favorite. Crisp and complex, the phat beets really surpassed our expectations of a typical canned beet. You know the kind--soggy, and bland. A distinct bite of ginger was the most evident flavor.
Pickled with garlic, smoked paprika, curry powder, mustard seed, chili flakes, dried chili peppers, and cayenne pepper. This was another winner. Pickling the okra makes them firm and crunchy, eliminating the sliminess that's usually a concern. A deep, layered smoky flavor comes through in the brine, and bursts out of the pods when broken into.
Windy City Wasabeans
Pickled with soy sauce, garlic, wasabi powder, ginger, peppercorns, and dried chiles. These, like the Mean Beans, were snappy and crunchy, which is always necessary in a good pickle. The flavor was mostly soy and garlic, we couldn't really taste wasabi or feel the heat from it. The savory soy masked the tartness of vinegar and made them easy to eat alone.
The People's Pickle
Pickled with garlic, dill, and coriander. This is the closest to a standard dill pickle in the lineup, and they are delicious. Crunchy, garlicky, not too sour. They are easily the most accessible in flavor, and can definitely stand on their own.
Slices Of Life
Pickled with garlic, pickling spice, and dill. As a dill pickle, the slices were inevitably compared to The People's Pickle and they didn't quite stack up. We felt that the aromatic brine was much more toned down than that of the Kool Gherks, which was welcomed. But they couldn't compete with the garlicky-goodness of the People's Pickle.
Pickled with garlic and dill extract. This is Rick's newest variety. Many of us thought that the sours were too pucker-inducing sour and vinegary, and in the category of "basic dills" we preferred The People's Pickle.
These whole cucumbers are pickled with garlic, dill, and pickling spice (a combination of cloves, all spice, bay leaves, mustard seed and other spices). We all agreed that these were our least favorite of the bunch. The blend of spices in the brine (individual flavors were indistinguishable) was overwhelming, almost reminiscent of potpourri.
Pepi Pep Peps
Pickled with pepper juice, ginger, and garlic. Eaten alone, these peppers are soft and a bit slimy. But the roasty bell pepper flavor would really benefit a good cold cut.
Bee n' Beez
Pickled with onion, dried cherries, sugar, ginger, spices, mustard seed, turmeric, hot pepper flakes and celery seed, the Bee n' Beez were another great variety. They were tangy, mustardy and salty, not overly sweet like a lot of bread and butters. The cherries and onions soak up all of the complex brine flavors and add different textures to each bite.
Pickled with red and green bell peppers, lime, brown sugar, mustard seed, and turmeric. It's got a great flavor that's sweet but not cloying, and mildly vinegary. A little on the liquidy side, though. We thought it would go nicely on a hot dog.
Pickled with sriracha chili sauce, habanero powder, and garlic. Make no mistake: these pickles are extremely hot. Rick's should consider printing a warning on the label. The flavor is nice and garlicky, but this pickle's almost impossible to eat alone.
The green beans are pickled with garlic, dill, and cayenne pepper, and had a great snap when we bit into them. Their heat was manageable, and was more tangy than mouth-burning spicy.
Pickled with orange juice, hot peppers, and pink peppercorns. We all agreed that pickled asparagus was not our favorite preparation method. It eliminates the crunchy fibrousness that you want from asparagus. The white wine vinegar overpowered any other flavors, and rendered the pickles very sour.