MiVT: The Tipsy Pickle
WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) - Though Winooski is the Onion City, there’s another vegetable taking over the town -- The Tipsy Pickle.
“I work and collaborate with Vermont breweries and distilleries so each pickle contains a part of their product. The alcohol does get cooked out during the processing but it brings a unique flavor to each pickle that you don’t get from a traditional style of pickles that you might find out on the market,” owner Angela Gerace said.
Gerace learned pickling from her family and picked it up as a hobby, selling her first batches at a festival at Otter Creek Brewing.
“Growing up in the food industry, I went to NECI and I worked in the food industry for years and it’s always don’t waste, and part of not wasting is finding ways to preserve food,” she explained.
In 2014, she started her business and recently decided to pursue it more heavily when she’s not working her other job with the Shelburne Police Department.
The boozy brines are sold online and in stores all over Vermont. Gerace hand makes them herself -- in more than 20 flavors. Actually, it’s soon to be 21, as she was experimenting with a new flavor when I went to meet her.
“After you fill the jars, you just want to make sure that the levels look right. I’ve done this so many times that I just know that it is,” she said while filling the jars with brine.
She explained the very particular pickling process, from making the brine to processing time.
“As they cool down you’ll hear the air coming out of it and you’ll eventually hear the jars pop which means I know the seal is on there and it’s tight and they’re good for a year,” she said.
Most recently, the Tipsy Pickle was nominated as a finalist in two categories for the Good Food Awards. That’s a big “dill,” as Gerace comes out on top against thousands of other businesses across the U.S.
“I don’t need to win. Making it as a finalist was like all I wanted to do just to confirm that all my hard work is paying off, or will pay off. So, I feel great,” she said.
The winners will be announced on Jan. 22.
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