Maitland Mountain Farm in Salem was founded in 2009 by father-daughter team Peter and Holly Maitland. Now it’s more widely known as a prolific pickle maker. Holly and her husband, Andy Varela, make 40 kinds ($6 to $8 per jar) of pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi. The produce is all sustainably grown on either their urban farm or neighboring farms. Fresh and crunchy are the operative words to describe their various pickled and fermented foods. “For us, it’s about making fresh product,” says Varela, which they do almost every week. Raw vegetables are pickled in a cold vinegar-based brine, which keeps them crisp. (These are refrigerated products.) In addition to cucumbers, they pickle onions, radish, mushrooms, beets, cabbage, and even eggs. For fermented kraut and kimchi, no brine is used, only salt and seasonings.
Maitland’s pickles run the gamut from mild to medium-spicy to “blow you out of the water,” says Varela. Proceed at your own risk when diving into a jar of Bethany’s Firecracker Carrots, Holly’s Habanero Pickles, and Zach Antczak’s Fire Roasted Pickled Peppers. On the safe side are Jett’s Mild Spears (Jett is the couple’s 9-year-old son), Dilly Beans, Curried Cauliflower, and Bread & Butter Pickles. Peter’s Giardiniera is a vinegary assortment of cauliflower, carrot, celery, cukes, and red pepper, named for company co-founder Peter Maitland. Holly’s Spicy Pickles and her namesake relish are borderline spicy-hot. And if you’re looking for a deliciously crisp sour pickle to nibble on, with or without a corned beef on rye, Maitland’s Full Sour Pickles are the real deal.