When it comes to making a packaged food product, consistency is crucial, and we work hard to ensure that our production practices are consistent from batch to batch. However, because of our chef-driven approach, which showcases fresh ingredients as the backbone of our flavors, textures, and visual aesthetics, we find ourselves vulnerable to the realities of mother nature and her impact on the fresh produce that is available. While we exclusively source fresh, high quality produce, the characteristics of the produce can vary quite a bit, especially when it comes to cucumbers.
Why are some batches of pickles crunchier than others?
The ideal pickling cucumber is narrow, with small seeds, and thin skin. These characteristics make for a perfectly crunchy cucumber. But pickling cucumbers vary quite a bit, and the wider they are, the more likely they are to have large seeds and a thicker, chewier skin.
The issue with cucumbers with large seeds is that the surface area with the seeds is mostly made up of water. The larger the seed cavity, the higher the water content, which means there isn’t much crunchy flesh to bite through. These types of cucumbers simply make for a less crunchy experience. It doesn't mean that the cucumbers aren't fresh or that the pickles that we produce with larger seeds were made differently. The textural difference just comes down to the anatomy of the cucumbers. As for the skin, thicker skin makes for a chewier, tougher exterior, which can make for an unexpected experience when you bite into a pickle.
Our commitment to quality.
We communicate daily with our suppliers to ensure we are getting the freshest, best quality, and most ideal produce we possibly can, and we do not accept any produce that doesn't meet our standards. We also have numerous quality control checkpoints throughout our supply chain and our production process. Additionally, we have dialed in our sourcing practices to take advantage of the times of season that produce ideal cucumbers and avoid the times of season that are less reliable. Yet, we do not have the ability to control nature, so from time to time, we wind up with cucumbers that have larger seed cavities and/or thicker, chewier skin that make less crunchy pickles with a tougher skin. Many people don't seem to mind these details (or even notice them), but we totally understand why it can be a turn-off for others.
We proudly make what we believe are the best products of their kind, and we spare no expense when it comes to quality. But, we also have to acknowledge and embrace the fact that there are some things outside of our control that can cause some variation from one batch to the next. No matter what, we maintain high standards and stand behind every product we put into the marketplace. If you are unsatisfied for any reason, please let us know, so that we can have the opportunity to make it right for you.
Do you geek out on food details? Read on for more information about pickling cucumbers.
Pickling cucumbers are a very specific breed of cucumber that are grown to be smaller in size than a conventional cucumber, while also having thinner skin and smaller seed cavities. These types of cucumbers are typically not in high demand, so they are usually only grown by specialty farmers. Furthermore, they need a lot of sun and water to grow, so the regions from which they are available can be very limited. The growing season is relatively short and can be ended abruptly with storms, hail, and other forms of extreme weather. All of this conspires to make it quite challenging to source consistently high quality cucumbers throughout the year.
In an ideal world, we would be able to get the same cucumbers from the same farm in the same size all year round. But, in reality we wind up having to source cucumbers from 7 or more different regions, and dozens of different growers throughout the year. That means that the size, shape, and various characteristics of the cucumbers we source change quite a bit, and can even vary from a single farm as they are harvested throughout different stages of the growing season.