What’s Local, Dill Pickle Coop
The Dill Pickle Coop threw their grand opening gala on Saturday. On Sunday, we sent out our scouts to access the local there. We were happy with the locavore inventory on December 13, 2010.
We throw the date out there because we know that some of the local supplies arrived at Dill Pickle on their way to the Sunday Logan Square Farmer’s Market. We do wonder on days away from the market if there will be as much local. For instance, Logan Square Farmer’s Market vendors Jakes Country Meats and Mint Creek Farm supplied meats; Earth First Orchards supplied organic apples, and there was an array of goods from Tomato Mountain and River Valley Kitchen. Still, not all the goods came in that Saturday. Probably some came in the day before as Green City Market vendors Green Acres and Genesis Growers brought in vegetables. On Sunday, there were fresh breads from Cook au Vin, who bake outstanding French style breads sold at the Logan Square Market. Will those breads be there later in the week? If so, that alone is a reason to shop. We will also note that most of the local produce is of the kind that lasts and lasts. Assuming it gets put in the cooler at night, will last until the next shipment.
Perhaps speaking to us Beetniks, Dill Pickle Coop segregated their produce. On your left as you entered, you could find bins of local apples separated by variety, and other late season, local produce. There were a few kinds of onions, French shallots, Chiogga beets, sunchokes, Japanese sweet potatoes and a few kinds of white potatoes, and several varieties of winter squash. On the other side of the aisles, in a cooler, they had the non-local, out of season produce like cucumbers.
As noted above, Dill Pickle carried meats from Jakes (pork) and Mint Creek (lamb). They had beef from Heartland and chickens from TJs. Yes, there were local eggs. And frozen farm raised tilapia from AquaRanch too. A cooler down, they had much local dairy. There was milk from Castle Rock and Trader’s Point Creamery, as well as Organic Valley who seems downright gigantic in this environment. For some regulatory reason that could not quite be explained, Dill Pickle offers not Castle Rock butter but Castle Rock churned cream.
The aisles of canned goods intermingled the local with the general. Or do you call Eden of Michigan local. On the other hand you could not find anything specifically local in the bulk bins. Hopefully, going forward they can track down sources for local grains including the New Rinkel flours Rick Bayless uses at Xoco.
All in all, Dill Pickle brings much local to the Logan Square table. At a party on Saturday, someone told us that Chicagoans did not travel far for food shopping. If your neighborhood store stocked local, the way Cassie does at her Green Grocer, than you would buy local. If you lived elsewhere, you shopped elsewhere. I am not fully convinced that people will not travel for a good store like Dill Pickle Coop, but for the people in the Logan Square and Bucktown communities that don’t want to travel. You know have a place to find more local foods.
If you have gone so far to the Dill Pickle Coop, please share your experiences with us.
Dill Pickle Coop – 3039 W. Fullerton, Chicago
Monday -through- Saturday Noon – 8pm
and Sunday 10am-6pm