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Kurzhal Family Kickin’ Pickles

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ELMIRA, Ore.– In the food industry many small businesses get their start with family recipes. That holds true for Kurzhal Family Kickin’ Pickles.

Even though Kurzhal Family Kickin’ Pickles is less than two years old, co-owner Matt Kurzhal’s grandmother started it decades ago.

“She started making pickles a long time ago. It was a German recipe that she’d developed, I’m not sure how. My dad took the recipe and spiced it up,” said Matt Kurzhal.

The recipe was so popular. Matt and his wife Holly decided to make a side business of it.

“There’s not really a spicy pickle product on the market, so we’re trying to fill that void,” said Matt Kurzhal.

It starts with filling the jars.

“We do onions and mustard seed, celery seed, garlic, cloves and peppercorn,” said Holly Kurzhal.

Don’t forget the jalapeno.

“We call ‘em kickin’ pickles because they have a little bit of a spice. There’s not like a fire hot,” said Matt Kurzhal.

And the veggie of the day.

“The main products we do are pickles. We also do dilly beans, asparagus, carrots, garlic cloves,” Matt Kurzhal said. “Today, we’re doing 100 pounds of carrots.”

That translates into 100, one-quart jars full.

“It’s a pretty small process for us. We’re used to doing 400- and 500- jar days,” said Matt Kurzhal.

Even a small batch is a lot of work, though.

We have to cut all the carrots into quarters and we’re packing them into jars. We’re putting a water bath on ‘em and hot boiling brine,” said Matt Kurzhal.

There’s something else special about the Kurzhal family recipe, and it has nothing to do with spices.

“There’s nothing quite like it available. Our products are fresh. We process them the next day from when they’re harvested,” Matt Kurzhal said. We’re able to create a crunchy pickle without adding chemicals or additives, which other mainstream companies would use.”

Organic veggies, locally sourced herbs and some TLC; ingredients that make the Kurzhal family recipe a success.

We can do it at home and we can grow most of our vegetables. We can get the feeling of getting something from the earth and turn it into something people enjoy,” said Matt Kurzhal.

You can find the Kurzhal family kickin’ pickles at the holiday market and different craft fairs around town. Click here for more information.

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