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Brooklyn Brine

Everyone seems to be pickling something in Brooklyn.

Shamus Jones grew up locally in a working-class family with the following ethic: Doing it yourself is always better.

Shamus was a vegetarian chef in Seattle before moving back home to cook at Café Blossom in Brooklyn, where he earned his stripes (spears?) in seasonality, sustainability, and experimentation. He also observed that every dish usually had some kind of preserved ingredient because certain items are only fresh a few weeks each year.

So what’s in Brine? New York State apple cider vinegar, sea salt, organic garlic and spices such as mustard seed, caraway or chili. And of course, the best vegetables he can find from upstate New York, Vermont and Pennsylvania. His jars range from eclectic (fennel beets or lavender asparagus) to classic (deli cukes).

Shamus loves being part of the borough’s pickle scene. “There is a movement now of bringing things back to the smaller scale, like being able to walk down the street and say, ‘That’s my pickle maker, that’s my butcher, that’s my milk man.’”

Pickling often requires 16-hour days in the Gowanus factory. Along with his eight-person staff, he’s now producing 1200 jars a day! Shamus loves Brooklyn Brine and hopes to open his own storefront at some point, but sure would like to see more of his skateboard, cat and girlfriend.

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