Food News

The Producers: Nice Pickles

Native ingredients and Jamaican spice add a tasty twist to the ferments of South Australian company Nice Pickles.

By Cordelia Woods
Nice Pickles Jerk Beans and Karkalla Kimchi
Nice Pickles Jerk Beans and Karkalla Kimchi

WHO: After years spent pickling and preserving in his home kitchen in Adelaide, Robin Mather hit on something he knew would be loved: jerk-spiced beans. The hot pickled green beans were such a hit with his family that he was inspired to launch his pickling business in 2016, Nice Pickles. Most recently, Mather has collaborated with Something Wild, an indigenous produce specialist operating at the Adelaide Central Market, on kimchi made with native karkalla.

HOW: Something Wild harvests the karkalla, or pigface, from the Coorong region in Ngarrindjeri Country, South Australia. It has a distinct brininess that's not found in traditional Korean kimchi. "It instantly gives you a taste of where it's from," says Mather, "and reminds me of being a kid and getting dunked while harvesting pipis at Goolwa." Mather ferments the karkalla at room temperature for a week or so. The Jerk Beans, meanwhile, Nice Pickles' first product, are cured for four weeks in a Caribbean-inspired mix of habanero, thyme and allspice, and balanced with a sweet and tangy apple cider and white vinegar brine.

WHY: Mather and the team at Something Wild want to encourage people to eat and appreciate more native Australian ingredients. "We're trying to push them into different areas and make them a little easier to approach," says Something Wild co-owner Daniel Motlop. Mather suggests adding the kimchi to a hotdog or burger, while the beans are great for toasties or as a summer snack with a cold beer.

Nice Pickles Karkalla Kimchi, $12 for 500ml; Jerk Beans, $12 for 500ml. nicepickles.com

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  • Author: Cordelia Woods