Boat Street Pickles

Goodlifer: Boat Street Pickles

They say that travel broadens the mind. It must be true; until a recent trip to Oregon, I’d never known about the existence of my new favorite cheese accompaniment. Ready? It’s Boat Street Pickles, specifically, their fabulous Pickled Figs. Dried Mission figs, red wine, cane sugar, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and sea salt. It’s a fairly simple list of ingredients, so who knew the combination could cause my little heart to swoon? Paired with a good-quality sharp Cheddar and whole wheat crackers, these figs rock the house. So highly do I think of them that I brought home several jars for gifts… as well, until I decided to keep them for myself, that is! The producers of these declare they’re versatile enough to be served with foods as wide-ranging as grilled steak, green salad, and vanilla ice cream. Myself, I wonder how some of the syrup would taste in tonic water or over sliced strawberries.

The cozy cafe & jars of pickles.

At Boat Street Cafe, jars of pickles.

But wait, as they say in the infomercials; there’s so much more! Boat Street Pickles also offers Pickled Raisins (golden raisins in a cider vinegar base with arbol chili), Pickled Red Onion, and Pickled Prunes (with coriander, mustard seed, arbol chili, orange peel, and bay leaf). In truth, I’ve been too busy consuming my supply of Pickled Figs to get to any of the other varieties, but I’m greatly looking forward to trying all these other varieties.

Pickled red onion. Works well on a bagel...

Pickled red onion. Works well on a bagel… Photo by Katie Helmer, Creative Commons.

Chef and owner Renee Erickson also runs the Boat Street Café, a small restaurant nestled into a hidden courtyard near the vibrant Seattle waterfront. Prominently displayed on a marble-topped bar in the charming space are jars of house-made pickles. Suffering from a self-professed “‘healthy compulsion’ to pickle nearly everything,” Erickson started making Boat Street’s varieties of pickled fruits and vegetables as a natural way to preserve the ripeness and flavor of fresh Northwest produce.

Renee Erickson, chef, pickler and owner of Boat Street Pickles.

Renee Erickson, chief pickler and owner of Boat Street. Photo by Meryl Schenker/

If you’re looking for an unusual host or hostess gift this summer, a couple of jars of these pickles would fill the bill nicely, and they’d make great holiday gifts for that persnickety foodie friend. If you live in Oregon or Washington State, Boat Street Pickles can be found in many retail locations. If you’re an East Coast resident, your best bet is mail order from Zingerman’s (pickled raisins only) or Murray’s Cheese (figs, raisins, and red onion). For complete information, including serving suggestions, visit the website. Check ’em out!

Top photo by G3’s Maria, Creative Commons

About author
Stephanie Zonis was born with a spoon in her mouth — a tasting spoon, that is. She began cooking (especially baking) at a very early age, and for a short time even ran a highly illegal baking business from her long-suffering parents’ house when she was in high school. After acquiring a Master’s Degree in Foods, she eventually discovered the Internet in 1997. She’s been writing about food and developing recipes, especially where chocolate is involved, ever since. During those few moments when she’s not cooking or writing or thinking about food, Stephanie enjoys reading, walking, political discussions, and volunteering at a local no-kill cat sanctuary. She has been a member of a medieval re-creation group for longer than she’ll admit and loves absurdist humor.
1 comment on this postSubmit yours
  1. Thank you for writing such a great article regarding the pickles. We are equally crazy about them, and they do make a wonderful hostess gift .

    The pickles can be found at the following locations in the Seattle area:

    Boat Street Cafe – Seattle
    Metropolitan Markets – Seattle
    Murray’s Cheese shop – New York
    Christianson’s Nursery – Mt. Vernon Washington
    Go Outside – La Conner Washington
    Camano Coffee – Camano Washington
    Hightower Winery – Red Mountain, Washington
    Watson Kennedy – Seattle, Washington

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