It's funny to me that the food world is so caught up with boutique pickles right now. One of the interesting things about the world of specialty food is just how random the "it" items are, from single origin honey to exotic sea salt to bacon. But I'm happy that pickles are having their moment right now. What I really hope is that people will realize how easy it is to make their own pickles and put up a few batches of their own.
But if if you're in need of a little inspiration, pick up a jar (or three) of Sour Puss pickles out of Brooklyn. They're doing some really interesting, super-seasonal batches of pickles, like ramps with cardamom, garlic scapes, and fiery little lantern peppers spiced with licorice root. The pickles have a great, flavorful brine, but they're never too salty or sweet. Just sharp and aromatic with lots of spices and herbs. At $7 - $12 a jar, they are a luxury item, but they do taste leagues above a grocery store jar of dill'd kirby cucumbers. Plus I find I'm actually using less pickles in recipes because these are just so flavorful to start with.
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