Lower East Side Sours Get a Whole Lot Sweeter -- Whole Foods Market Sponsors 6th Annual Pickle Day on Sept 17

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Lower East Side BID and NY Food Museum announce 6th Annual Pickle Day - September 17th, 2006. Whole Foods, the Onion to sponsor a day of free samples, activities, music, and fun. Just one block below the LES Farmers Market, on Orchard Street, between Broome and Grand Streets.

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On Sunday, September 17th, New York’s old pickle district will host its Sixth Annual New York City International Pickle Day (Pickle Day) from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Orchard Street between Broome and Grand—a block below its new Farmers Market. Co-sponsored by the NY Food Museum, the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (LES BID), the free multi-cultural event celebrates an age-old tradition and the neighborhood in which it is situated. This year, Pickle Day will also be sponsored by Whole Foods Market and the Onion.

“Thanks to the generous support of Whole Foods Market, this year we’re able to make new partnerships with cultural and community organizations. Just Food is joining in with a bigger home-canning demonstration and we hope to share the culinary traditions of immigrant cultures,” says Nancy Ralph, NY Food Museum Director and event founder. “We are especially excited about sharing the street with the new Orchard Street Farmers Market.”

An international, traditional preservation technique, pickling is also historically prominent on the LES, where successful pickle peddlers graduated from pushcarts to horse and wagons and later to trucks, buying first from the Washington market, then through brokers and contracting with farmers. In the 1930s and 1940s, LES Pickle wholesalers sold to “borscht-belt” hotels like Grossinger's, and delivered barrels to Connecticut and Boston by truck daily. At the time, the Concord Hotel alone might go through 500 gallons of pickles a week; delis and restaurants served pickles like peanuts or chips on the table.

Many local vendors have moved on but the tradition thrives on the LES. Each year, Pickle Day exhibits are expanded and updated to provide technique, recipes, and stories from home — whether home is in Malaysia or the Lower East Side to tell tales of the food preservation and its significance in immigrant culture.

Cucumbers are not alone on Pickle Day. On September 17th, pickling traditions from diverse American traditions and from the immigrant communities of India, Germany, Poland, China, Japan, Scandinavia, Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East, Africa will come alive through stories and exhibits and free samples. Pickle adventurers will see that pickles can be radishes, tomatoes, okra, cabbage, fish, meat, carrots, beans, onions, eggs, limes, mangos, peaches, beets — any food preserved in brine. This year’s event will also feature music, cooking and home-canning demonstrations, children’s activities and neighborhood walking tours. And, since the event tag-teams with the Greenmarket’s Farmers Market, folks will have a tasty lot from which to choose, including more than a dozen pickle vendors in addition to our local Farmers.

“Pickle Day expresses the true character of the Lower East Side –a settling place of hard-working immigrants and entrepreneurs from around the world,” says Dara Lehon, Deputy Executive Director of the LES BID. “We are happy to host this festive, cultural event and appreciate Whole Foods’ generous support of our dynamic local community.”

Besides, few places beside the Lower East Side are better fit to host Pickle Day, where nightlife, fashion and pickles are all main attractions.

About Whole Foods Market®

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com) is the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America’s first national certified organic grocer. In fiscal year 2005, the company had sales of $4.7 billion and currently has more than 180 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The Whole Foods Market motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures the company’s mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Whole Foods Market, Harry’s Farmers Market®, and Fresh & Wild® are trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market IP, LP. Whole Foods Market employs more than 39,000 team members and has been ranked for nine consecutive years as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine.

About NY Food Museum

The NY Food Museum is a 6-year old non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging people to think about the food they eat. Past programs include "How NYC Ate 100 Years Ago," "The History of the School Lunch Program" held at the St. George Ferry Terminal and "Cooking for the Lower East Side" in partnership with the Henry Street Settlement. Upcoming programs include work with the Artisan Baking Center on the history of Bakers’ Union in New York, “Food Around the Clock” with the Museum of the City of New York, a documentary film, a traveling exhibit on Jewish candy makers and a bicycle-powered exhibit about food delivery. People interested in helping with Pickle Day should call 212-966-0191. For online exhibits, see http://www.nyfoodmuseum.org.

About the Lower East Side Bid (LESBID)

Established in 1992, the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (LESBID) (http://www.LowerEastSideNY.com) is a non-profit economic development organization created to revitalize the Orchard Street Shopping District while preserving its unique and diverse character. Today, the LESBID is a community of over 400 merchants and property owners managed by a Board of Directors and consisting of local merchants, property owners, residents and elected officials. The LESBID promotes the local businesses, hosts events and provides community beautification services. L.E.S. is More. Explore.

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