04/15/2008 08:33 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Lessons From A Jar

As I bite into a crunchy Spear of Influence, Rick Field, the originator of this
tasty pickle is watching me intently. I'm a little self conscious, but not enough
to stop eating. Just as I'm getting into its delicious cumin-lime-garlic flavor,
Rick tells me it was this classic dill spear that was the catalyst that led him to become the man of pickles he is today.

Growing up in Vermont, he learned the basics of pickling. In the Field family, pickles equaled good times, so when he'd had enough of high pressure television production, the lo-fi world of pickles called out and Rick"s Picks was launched.

Rick explains, "By making shelf-stable pickles what we're doing is creating an opportunity for people to eat locally all year long. You got your beets from July to November at the greenmarket, but our pickled beets are available all year long--and that's a beautiful thing."

He continues, "People are very concerned about the idea of local produce
now and in many circles it has outstripped 'organic' as the number one issue that people bring to the table when talking about our products and that keeps us close to our ingredients in an important and meaningful way."

Watch here as Rick Field talks more about pickling local produce.

Pickling is ancient. Aristotle praised the healing effects of cured cucumbers. Cleopatra attributed her good looks to a hearty diet of pickles. Thomas Jefferson noted: "On a hot day in Virginia, I know nothing more comforting than a fine spiced pickle, brought up trout-like from the sparkling depths of
the aromatic jar below the stairs of Aunt Sally's cellar." So this is where
Rick gets his ideas.

Gradually the spears had disappeared, the Wasabeans were getting scarce,
and the Phat Beets were looking awfully good. Right about then Rick launched
into the back story for Smokra. I was a little self conscious, but not enough to stop eating.