Pickles & Unordinary Condiments | San Francisco

Say good-bye to ordinary condiments

It's possible we're suffering from condimentia, a condition characterized by the hoarding of jams, spreads and other condiments.

Canning has become the new entrepreneurial enterprise, but unfortunately not all the products are good. We've found two new ones that are: Sa'Or onions from Oakland-based Studebaker Pickles, and balsamic cherry conserve from Santa Cruz's Plumline.

Though the two products might not appear to have anything in common, both walk the line between sweet and savory.

To make the Sa'Or, Studebaker owner Katherine Hug, a Pizzaiolo employee who pickles vegetables in the restaurant's kitchen during off-hours, sweats yellow onions in olive oil until soft. She then adds white wine and Champagne vinegar, a spice mix that includes caraway and fennel, and a bit of sugar. Though traditionally a Venetian fish garnish, the stewed onions are excellent on a turkey sandwich.

To make the cherry conserve, Plumline owner Heidi Schlecht starts with sweet organic Bings, adding balsamic vinegar to give the fruit great depth of flavor. You could spread it on a highbrow PB&J, but it's also a fine companion to soft cheeses and liver pâté.

The pedestrian condiments may have to be tossed. There's only so much room in the fridge, after all.

Studebaker Pickles, available at Rainbow Grocery, 1745 Folsom St. (at Duboce St.), 415-863-0620 or studebakerpickles.com; Plumline, feelgoodfoodscatering.com/plumline.html