The Man Who Pickled Justin Bieber's Hair
Rick Field left a successful career in television to become a pickle entrepreneur. Seven years later, his Rick's Picks are carving out a mini cultural niche of their own in the American culinary landscape.
Jason Gots is a New York-based writer, editor, and podcast producer. For Big Think, he writes (and sometimes illustrates) the blog "Overthinking Everything with Jason Gots" and is the creator and host of the "Think Again" podcast. In previous lives, Jason worked at Random House Children's Books, taught reading and writing to middle schoolers and community college students, co-founded a theatre company (Rorschach, in Washington, D.C.), and wrote roughly two dozen picture books for kids learning English in Seoul, South Korea. He is also the proud father of an incredibly talkative and crafty little kid.
“In these changing and uncertain times, pickles are one thing we can preserve.”
What’s the Big Idea?
What do TV and pickle production have in common? There’s really only one person you can ask, and according to him, there’s a lot of overlap. At the height of his television career, Rick Field was writing, directing, and producing for VH1 and PBS’ Bill Moyers. Today, he is a highly successful pickle entrepreneur.
Do not even think of those flabby, luminous yellow spears that delis sometimes wrap up with your sandwich, making the rye bread all soggy. As CEO of Rick’s Picks, Field creates and markets tastebud-bending products like “Smokra” – pickled okra with smoked Spanish paprika and chili peppers, and “Phat Beets” – aromatic beet slices with ginger, rosemary, and lemon. The company has grown from a single stand in a New York City greenmarket to a nationwide supplier to specialty markets like Whole Foods and Dean & Deluca (which still operates greenmarket stands).
Why Pickling is Like TV Producing
About seven years before he left the TV business, Rick started pickling as a hobby – recreating family recipes from his childhood:
A Sign from the Pickle Deities
Seven years later, Rick’s Picks have arrived, carving out a mini cultural niche of their own in the American culinary landscape. While they aren’t yet commercial on the scale of a Vlasic or a Heinz (and may never be, since most are made by hand with expensive ingredients), they’re convincing chefs and food lovers nationwide that pickled beets, beans, and okra have evolved beyond those dubious paperweights gathering dust on your Eastern European Grandma’s basement shelf.
Hey, Don’t Mess With My Grandma’s Pickles.
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- Time travel may be possible.
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At least he wasn't burned at the stake, right?
- The letter suggests Galileo censored himself a bit in order to fly more under the radar. It didn't work, though.
- The Royal Society Journal will publish the variants of the letters shortly, and scholars will begin to analyze the results.
- The letter was in obscurity for hundreds of years in Royal Society Library in London.
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