A pickled grape tomato, sweet with a slight bite, pops pleasantly in the mouth and is as perfect in your bloody mary as it is on its own as a snack. But where you see a tomato, Marcia Nodel, founder of Marcia’s Munchies, sees months of work perfecting a pickling process that involved consultation with Michigan State University, myriad recipes, and boatloads of tiny tomatoes. The problem was that, because of FDA regulations, the temperature to which pickles must be heated to be considered safe for commercial packaging can often wreak havoc on a small tender tomato, in a way that it won’t on a sturdy cucumber, carrot, or turnip. Nodel finally cracked the pickled tomato code (and no, she’s not breathing a word of her secret), and the resulting product hit store shelves in 2015. Marcia’s Pickled Munchies Cherry Pops, $10 at marciasmunchiesusa.com.
Welcome to the SAVEUR 100, our annual attempt to survey what’s happening in the world of food and drink and boil it all down—like a rich meaty sauce that gets headier and more deeply dazzling as it reduces to its essence—to the best of the best of right now. After much spirited discussion and some (mostly civil) internal debate, endless days of recipe-tinkering in the test kitchen, and nights of eating around, we’re pleased to share this year’s earnestly curated, highly subjective lineup of the top 100 (in no particular order) people, places, gadgets, tastes, and techniques that are inspiring and exciting us in and out of the kitchen. – Adam Sachs, Editor-in-Chief
This year’s SAVEUR 100 is a special limited-edition release. Find our print edition at booksellers such as Barnes & Noble and on select stands.