The pickle is pretty darn quirky, and we're not just talking about its fun-to-say, oh-so-charming name.
It's a specific foodstuff -- everyone knows what you mean when you say "I want a pickle" -- and yet oodles of other edibles can be pickled. Which makes the pickle much like salt, and a roast, and toast, in that what they are, and what they can do to other foods, are two deliciously distinct things.
This is solid information to possess before your mosey over to the Pickle Party at Grand Central Market. The downtown landmark is hosting the tart-to-the-taste-buds bash on Sunday, May 15, but know that you won't just be noshing upon the green-hued classic, the one sitting in a jar inside your fridge door at this very moment.
What to do, where to go and what to see
There shall be pickling knowledge, helpful tips shared by "fermentation guru" Sandor Ellix Katz. And Mr. Katz will oversee the rather amazing main draw of the event, the "1,000 Pounds of Kraut" project.
What is this? It's "a crowd-sourced communal sauerkraut-making session" involving a "day-long 'Kraut Mob'" that'll be behind the ongoing creation of, you guessed it, one thousand pounds of flavorful kraut goodness.
If you take a break from all the kraut-makery, be sure to check out the chefly demos dotting Grand Central Market, like those involving "Asian and Latino pickles and condiments."
There's also a pop-up Pickle Marketplace to peruse, too, and various vendors will sell "special pickle menu items" in honor of the happening.
Are you already sensing that your summertime barbecues, regardless of the main meat or veg, are about to step it up in terms of divine pickled delectables?
We wouldn't dare suggest that pickle people ever forsake the green bumpily spear, the one we love on the side of our sandwich plate, for other, er, less greener horizons.
But the pickling planet is large, and it is welcoming of all sorts of cuisine-cool comers.
Really, what can't be pickled (or salted or roasted or toasted)?
It's an old kitchen calling with major implications for our contemporary entertaining. May pickled bites continue to lend tang wherever tang is needed.