BY BOB KRASNER | Sunday afternoon Oct. 15 on Orchard St, from Delancey to Houston, you could get meatballs, macaroons, chocolates, barbecue, baked goods and…pickles. Lots and lots of pickles. Smoked dills, garlic dills, jalapeño, fried pickles, sour, sweet, spicy sour, honey mustard pickle chips… Oy. More pickles than you could eat in a lifetime changed hands.
The street was packed solid with customers, with lines at every booth. Randy Kopke, owner of Backyard Brine, estimated that he would be selling “about a ton” of erstwhile cucumbers.
At least one of the vendors had a charitable motive: The Pickals Foundation, a nonprofit started by the late photographer Arthur Cohen. When he was diagnosed in 2014 with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Cohen turned his personal pickle recipe into a very personal crusade. He and his family began bottling and selling his product, donating all of the profi ts to ALS research and care.
Although Cohen recently passed away, his wife, Janet, and kids, Lucas and Tess, have no intention of dropping the ball. They are already planning to return next year — with a lot more pickles.
Hours before closing time they had sold every single jar. So what do you do when you run out of pickles? Around 3 p.m., the sign went up: “Pickals Juice $1.”
For more information on Pickals, visit https://pickals.org/