Pickles, dills, gherkins and their cousins still pop up in every convenience store and pastrami sandwich, but these are nearly always industrial versions from sealed jars filled with chemicals, as well as brine.
One of the last places selling real pickles -- the crunchy, hand-crafted, Jewish pickles of New York lore -- is the tiny Pickle Guys store in Manhattan's Lower East Side.
"This is pickle Mecca," said Michael Dansky, 52, who came all the way from Boston with a cooler to stock up. "They are the last of the real pickle people."
The store -- a cave-like space crammed with barrels of pickles -- is all that remains of this once Jewish-dominated neighborhood's pickle industry. A century ago, as many as 150 other pickle places would have been doing business within a short walk.
One of the stalwarts, the venerable Guss' Pickles, closed down just last year. Many of the staff at Pickle Guys used to work at Guss'. They believe their mix of authenticity and willingness to try new products allows them to hang on.