Pickle sommelier brings crunch to TikTok

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Vlasta Pilot joined host Evan Kleiman and producer Elina Shatkin for a Zoom pickle tasting. Photo by Elina Shatkin/KCRW

Vlasta Pilot touched down in the United States a decade ago. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, she says her earliest memory of pickles was making them with her grandfather. “It’s a community activity,” Pilot professes, “and a long process. Growing the tomatoes and cucumbers and harvesting them.” 

Pregnant and craving the pickles, she began documenting her journey on TikTok as she searched for ferments of her youth.