Pickle Licious in Teaneck, The Real Deal


Robyn Samra owner of Pickle Licious in Teaneck

Robyn Samra owner of Pickle Licious in Teaneck

Robyn Samra loves pickles.  What started in 1995 as a small pickling business has grown into a large mail order, farmers market and brick and mortar store known as Pickle Licious.  Samra knows customers by name along with their pickle preferences and can size up a new pickle customer pretty quickly, nimbly directing him to the appropriate samples to suit taste buds with a hankering for spicy and hot.  For Samra, it’s all about loving what she does, keeping her product’s quality consistent and making sure customers are happy.  She seems to be getting high marks on all fronts.

While you can find Picklelicious pickled products at multiple NY and NJ farmers markets and the products can be shipped anywhere, in my view nothing beats visiting the Teaneck shop to personally sample items.  The shop has the widest array of products available for sampling, more so than what you would find at a farmers market.  That’s how I discovered Sweet Horseradish Chips ($5 pint) which is a flavor I dream about:  a subtle hint of sweetness which balances an assertive horseradish punch, delivered in a crunchy half-inch thick chip.  I love pickles and am equally happy with new, half or full sour pickles.

I found Picklelicious years ago when I lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and Robyn and her first husband and partner had a storefront on Amsterdam Avenue.  The shop closed years ago, but like its current Teaneck sister, had an old world feel, with shelves groaning with mustards, chocolates, candy and pretzels.  The Teaneck store has all this plus an expanded array of house made goodies, ranging from multiple creamy flavored hummus varieties to delicious tapenades (think olive paste with a hint of garlic, perfect for tossing with pasta or spreading on a baguette before layering on cheese, meats and veggies.)   Pickled condiments like mushrooms, chopped celery, giardiniera and several varieties of peppers, tomatoes and of course, sauerkraut are on their own worth a visit to the shop, pickles aside.  (But of course, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the pickles.)

In business for 18 years, Samra is self-taught in the school of pickling, starting the business after years of waitressing and wanting to provide a top-rate product that she could produce year-round.  She now goes through tens of thousands of pickles each month, manning the operation with her team of equally customer satisfaction obsessed staffers and the occasional help of her second husband Ray and her two grown daughters.  This is a local business I encourage you to patronize, not only because the products are top-rate, but because it is woman-owned and the real deal.  Samra’s brine is  spices and garlic.  Her approach to brining produces pickles that have a deeply authentic flavor and crunch and her non-pickle products are equally delicious.

My suggestion to those looking to give meaningful hostess gifts?  Give pickles.  Skip the bottle of wine or fancy flowers and consider a trip to Pickle Licious for a walk down memory lane.  (Pickles are low calorie and pickle juice is known to be a coach’s favorite for treating athletes’ leg cramps.)

Pickle Licious is at 384 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ.  201-833-0100.  www.picklelicious.com  Visit the website for a listing of farmers markets, shoppes and restaurants where the products are sold.  The store in Teaneck is closed Saturdays, but open Sunday through Friday.
Jersey Bites (http://s.tt/1xh5N)


Read about Pickle Licious in New Jersey Monthly

Think You Love Pickles? Not Like These Folks…

by Suzanne Zimmer Lowery

At Pickle Licious, her all-things-pickle store in Teaneck, (or shop online) Robyn Samra sells chocolate-covered pickles, pickle-flavored gum and toothpaste, lifelike pickle Christmas tree ornaments and 28-inch inflatable pickles, not to mention at least eight kinds of actual pickles.

Pickle licious in Teaneck New Jersey

Visit our store at 384 CEDAR LANE
call – 201-833-0100

Samra calls them “Old Tyme New York-Style Barrel Pickles With A Bite.” She also sells pickled condiments, various relishes, tapenades and olives.

“People are pickle crazy,” she says. “And we love them!”

Pickle pushers Alexandria, Taylor, Ray and Robyn. Photo courtesy Pickle Licious

Pickle pushers Alexandria, Taylor, Ray and Robyn. Photo courtesy Pickle Licious


Pickling in an acidic brine has been around for 4000 years, and throughout the world, foods from the expected to the unusual are still preserved in this way. In Russia you can eat pickled beets, Malaysians pickle pineapple, the British eat pickled onions and even eggs, and pickled cabbage—kimchi—is a staple of the Korean diet, but only here in the U.S. does the word pickle usually mean just one thing–a juicy, sour cucumber.

Samra, 49, grew up in Bergen County. She worked as a waitress, restaurant manager and bartender until one day a great big pickle-shaped lightbulb switched on above her head.

She had always loved the authentic kosher pickles of New York’s Lower East Side. So in 1995, she formed a company with her husband, Leo Samra, and her brother, Jay Brown, to buy tubs full of pickles on the Lower East Side and sell them at the Meadowlands flea market.

Then her husband passed away and her brother moved to California. There she was in New Jersey, raising two young daughters on her own. She nearly gave up the enterprise. But believing that Leo would not want her to give up her pickle-packing dream, she decided to forge on.

In 1998, Samra began making her own pickles and expanding the business to sell at 40 farmers’ markets in New Jersey and Westchester and Orange counties, New York. In 2002, Pickle Licious opened a retail store in Teaneck.

Today it is still a family affair that includes daughters Alexandria, 23, and Taylor, 21, and Ray Calvo, who she married in 2010 and runs the business with her.

Pickle Licious had a brush with celebrity when the pickles, along with Samra’s daughters, appeared in a market scene in the 2010 Harrison Ford movie, Morning Glory. Unfortunately, the scene in which actors wrestled on a floor aslosh in Pickle Licious sauerkraut ended up on the cutting room floor.

Harrison Ford, however, did taste their sauerkraut.

“We definitely got the thumbs up from Harrison Ford,” Samra says. “He was loving those pickles. The Pickle Licious crew had to pack him up quite a few goodies to take home!”

Today, Samra’s 2,500 square feet of warehouse space is filled with 55-gallon drums of marinating cucumbers.

Officially, a cucumber can morph into a pickle after only a 24-hour bath, “but a full-sour is really the most popular in this area,” she says. “It pickles for anywhere from seven to nine months.”

The key to both full and half-sour pickles is a healthy dose of garlic and salt. With the addition of ingredients like horseradish or hot red peppers, pickles will take on other personas.

“Whatever’s in season, we’ll start pickling—cauliflower, green beans, any kind of hot pepper,” Samra says.

So while others try to avoid getting themselves in a pickle, that state of affairs has worked very well for Samra and her family. You might even say they relish it.


Pickle Soup

“It has a nice dill-type flavor, but is not overbearing,” Samra says of this sour cream, potato and pickle soup.

• 2 TBS Butter
• 1 Med Onion
• 4 Cups Chicken or Veggie Stock
• 4 Large Kosher Dill Pickles or Hot & Spicy Pickles (for those who like to kick It up a notch)
• ⅔ Cup Liquid from the Pickles (we call It BRINE)
• 4 Large Potatoes peeled & cut into ½ -inch dice
• 2 TBS Flour
• 1 Cup Sour Cream
• Chopped Fresh Dill (as a garnish)
1. Melt butter, sauté onion (about 3-4 minutes)
2. Add broth, pickles, brine and potatoes.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender (approx. 20 min.)
4. Blend flour with sour cream.
5. Add a small amount of hot soup to the sour cream mixture.
6. Blend together. Then, while constantly whisking, slowly pour the mixture back into the hot soup, until the liquid comes to a boil.
7. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes until slightly thickened.
8. Soup can be left chunky or puréed.

SUZANNE ZIMMER LOWERY is a food writer, pastry chef and culinary instructor at a number of New Jersey cooking schools. Find out more about her at suzannelowery.com.


Fried Dill / Sweet Pickles

Fried Dill / Sweet Pickles
  • 1 pt. Kosher Dill pickles or our Sweet Pickle Chips (sliced dill pickles undrained)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour as well as 1 tbsp. flour
  • ½ tsp. hot sauce
  • 1½ -2 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  1. Drain pickles, reserving ⅔-cup pickle juice.
  2. Press pickles between paper towels.
  3. Combine ⅔ cup pickle juice, egg, flour, and hot sauce.
  4. Stir well and set aside.
  5. Combine 1½ cups flour with ground red pepper, garlic powder, salt, and paprika.
  6. Blend well.
  7. Dip pickles in egg mixture, then dredge in flour mixture.
  8. Fry coated pickles in 375-degree oil until golden brown.
  9. Drain on paper towels.



Stuffed Peppadews

Stuffed Peppadews Recipe
  • Our Dirty Martini Dip- Which is a tasty blend of cream cheese and green olives accented with onions, jalapeno peppers and garlic.
  • Peppadews- A sweet and vinegary tart pepper with a little heat.
  1. Using our Robert Rothchild Dirty Martini dipping sauce
  2. Scoop a helping amount into one of our sweet/ spicy delicious Peppadew
  3. And Volia! A delicious eye catching snack or hors d’ oeuvres you can't resist!



Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

Fried Green Tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt
  • 1½ cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 3 green tomatoes, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1¾ cup oil
  • 1 tsp. sriracha sauce
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  1. Whisk eggs with generous pinch salt
  2. Mix panko and thyme
  3. Coat tomatoes with flour, then egg, then panko
  4. Heat oil in large, deep skillet
  5. Fry in batches until golden, 2 minutes per side
  6. Mix sriracha and mayo for dipping
Makes the perfect snack! YUMM



Potato Salad Recipe

Potato Salad Recipe
  • 2 pounds small potatoes (preferably Yukon gold)
  • 2 large eggs
  • kosher salt
  • ½ bunch slices scallions, white and green parts
  • 2 tablespoons of drained capers
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill pickles with ¼ cup juice (WE CALL IT BRINE) roughly about 2 pickles
  • ½ small red onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ bunch dill, chopped
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-Virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
  1. Put the potatoes and eggs Into a big saucepan of cold salted water.
  2. Bring to a simmer.
  3. After 12 minutes remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let cool.
  4. Continue cooking the potatoes until a paring knife poked into them goes In without resistance, about 3
  5. minuted longer.
  6. Reserve some scallion greens and capers for garnish.
  7. Meanwhile stir together the:
  8. Mayonnaise,mustard,pickles,and their juice, onion, remaining scallions and capers, parsley and lemon
  9. juice In a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes.
  10. peel and cool eggs and grate them into the bowl.
  11. Stick a fork into the potatoes and lift them one at a time out of the colander.
  12. Break up the potatoes by hand into rough chunks.
  13. Add them to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing.
  14. Season, to taste, with salt & pepper.
  15. Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.
Make sure to get as many ingredients at the Farmers Market as possible AND ENJOY!



Creamy Pickled Soup

Creamy Pickle Soup
  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 1 Med Onion
  • 4 Cups Chicken or Veggie Stock
  • 4 Large Kosher Dill Pickles or Hot & Spicy Pickles (for those who like to kick It up a notch)
  • ⅔ Cup Liquid from the Pickles (we call It BRINE)
  • 4 Lg Potatoes _peeled & cut into ½ in and diced)
  • 2 TBS Flour
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • Chopped Fresh Dill (as a garnish)
  1. Melt butter, saute onion (about 3-4 minutes)
  2. Add broth, pickles, brine & potatoes.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer until potatoes are tender (approx. 20 min.)
  4. Blend flour with sour cream.
  5. Add a small amount of hot soup to the sour cream mixture.
  6. Blend together and than constantly whisking back into hot soup, until soup comes to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat & simmer 3 minutes until slightly thickened.
  8. At this point soup can be left chunky or pureed.

“Bob’s” Mushroom and our Homemade Tapenade Recipe

"Bob's" Mushroom and our Homemade Tapenade Recipe
  • 1 dozen white cap mushrooms (medium to large size)
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic & oil
  • ½ pint Pickle Licious Homemade Tapenade
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 3-4 Tbs. panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • Fresh parsley
  1. Remove stems and chop finely
  2. Saute oil with roasted garlic & chopped stems
  3. Brush mushroom caps with oil and grill caps side down 3-4 minutes
  4. Remove from grill and drain liquid
  5. Combine chopped mushrooms with olive tapenade and panko
  6. Stuff mushroom caps with goat cheese and top with olive mixture
  7. Put under broiler for 1-2 minuted (until just browned on top)
  8. Sprinkle with fresh parsley