Poland's Finest All Natural Pickled Mixed Vegetables Assortment is a kind of pickled salad which are fairly common in Eastern Europe but still a little unusual here in the US. The "Poland's Finest" brand name is new to me, but the concept isn't - I shop regularly at a couple of local Russian markets and you'd be amazed at the variety of different pickled salads on the shelves.
Anyway, this assortment caught my eye for a couple of reasons: the veggies were whole rather than the more common sliced or shredded, and the jar was topped of with two big red ripe tomatoes. Pickled ripe tomatoes was a new one on me. I bought the jar, brought it home, and stuck it in the fridge to chill.
We enjoyed the salad a couple of days later as a side dish with kielbasa. As we unpacked the jar we found:
- large hot red paprika pepper
The salad was awesome. Sometimes I find that European picklers use too much sugar in their brine, but this was not the case here. Everything was crispy, fresh, and delicious (except for the tomatoes which were not "crispy" by their very nature. But they weren't mushy, either - they were firm and flavorful, like they had been cold-pack pickled right out of the garden.) And, thanks to that bigass paprika pepper in there, the salad was spicy hot. I really liked it, though Maryanne found the heat factor a little much for her (she is not a chilehead.)
Now I just gotta get back to Ocean State before they sell out of this stuff...