Artist Spotlight: Valerie Valdivia

Have you ever noticed the artwork on a Bubbies jar?

We know you might be distracted by the deliciousness inside the jar, but the label of each Bubbies jar has a fun illustration on it. From Bubbie having a picnic with bears, to Bubbie turning cabbage and peppers into her famous sauerkraut, each illustration tells a story.

So who is behind these adorable labels?

Her name is Valerie Valdivia and she has been creating artwork for Bubbies Fine Foods since 2014. We wanted to take you behind the scenes and share a little bit about her!

While her artistic journey only began with Bubbies five years ago, she has been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember. She got serious about studying art while attending Chapman University, obtaining a degree in Graphic Design. She’s been practicing and developing her digital artwork through illustrations since then and is constantly learning new ways to improve her process (though we think it’s already perfect).

When asked what her favorite Bubbie illustration is, she mentioned her excitement for the upcoming Bubbie’s Anniversary Cookbook:

 “Mid-century cookbooks influenced the look for the artwork in this cookbook and I had fun experimenting to create a distinct, recognizable vintage looks,” she says.

(We, too, can’t wait to share our cookbook with all of our fans! You’ll have to stay tuned for more information on this…)

Here are a few other questions from our interview:

Where did you find your inspiration for the artwork on the labels?

“I devoured children’s picture books when I was growing up, and I try to capture that same feeling of wonder and coziness in the illustrations I create. Some influential children’s illustrators that come to mind include Scott Gustafson, Peter de Seve, Mary Blair, and Bill Watterson. For me, the character of Bubbie is like a combination of Indiana Jones, Amelia Earhart, and Mary Poppins. Her adventures are reminiscent of the stories we hear our grandparents tell us, and I try to illustrate the way those stories appear larger than life in our imaginations.”

What is your process for creating a new piece?

“I start by doing a lot of research and gathering photo reference. If I’m drawing say, a pastrami sandwich or a cottage in the woods I want to know how to accurately represent it so that when I stylize it and give it my illustration treatment, the picture still rings true. Then I do a pencil sketch on plain old copy paper, because I can use as many sheets as I like to arrive at a sketch I’m pleased with. I scan this sketch and use it as a guide for the digital art, which I begin by creating a “color rough” where I decide what my digital color palette will be. Finally, the digital painting begins, and I paint in Photoshop using a Cintiq tablet and a variety of different brushes to achieve the textures I’m looking for!”

Last but not least, what is your favorite Bubbies product?

“The Bread and Butter pickle chips! I have to refrain from eating them right out of the jar.”

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Artist Spotlight and next time you have a Bubbies jar in your hand, make sure to check out Valerie’s artwork on the side! You can also find her artwork on Bubbies headers within the website and on Bubbies Facebook.


Cloudy Pickle Brine is the Best Kind of Brine

If you are a Bubbies Pickles fan then you are most likely familiar with our signature cloudy brine full of tart flavor and spices. If you are new to traditional fermentation or have picked up a jar of our pickles and wondered why the juice wasn’t clear, or bright green, don’t fret.

This is totally normal, and here’s why:

FERMENTATION!

Bubbies Kosher Dill Pickles, as well as our sauerkrauts, green tomatoes, and relish, are naturally fermented in water with salt and spices. Cloudy brine is a natural by-product of the fermentation process and it tastes delicious! The cloudiness is a combination of lactic acid and yeast and is the reason why they call it Lactofermentation.

Why Does This Happen?

Various strains of bacteria are present on the surface of all plants, especially ones growing close to the ground, like pickles! Lactobacillus bacteria converts sugars into lactic acid, preserving the pickle. Lactic acid prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. Over time the cloudiness can settle out of the brine to the bottom of the jar and on the tops of the Pickles or Tomatoes. Some batches are naturally cloudier than others, but all are safe to consume and taste delicious. Shake Until Cloudy and Enjoy!

Cloudy brine is a sign that you have a safe, successful, and tasty ferment. Even after all the pickles are gone and you have a jar of delicious brine leftover, don’t toss it!

Our brine is delicious in salad dressings, tuna, and egg salad, but a lot of people like to drink it straight out of the jar!

Kid drinking pickle juice from jar

Our fan @_skkay shared this adorable photo with us!

Fermented Game Day Snacks

The Superbowl is this Sunday, and you know what that means- time for some serious snacks! We’ve collected an assortment of our favorite Game Day-worthy recipes from around the net, featuring some great food bloggers. Be sure to check out their other delicious recipes, and connect with them on social media!

While chicken wings are generally considered a staple snack, we think these Nashville Hot Chicken Quesadillas from Buy This Cook That might be your new go-to! Spicy chicken breasts, cheese, tortillas, and pickles are a match made in heaven!

What’s not to love about finger foods- especially when they combine a winning combination of flavors like bratwurst and sauerkraut? These Crescent-Wrapped Bratwurst Bites with Sauerkraut Dipping Sauce from Kudos Kitchen By Renee look delicious!

If you’re a fan of German flavors, you’ll also enjoy these German Potato Skins from the Crumby Kitchen! Crispy baby potatoes, caramelized onions, bratwurst, and sauerkraut- what’s not to love?

No Superbowl party would be complete without a dip! If you love pickles, this delicious and easy Dill Pickle Dip from Spend With Pennies is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Pretzels are a great Game Day snack all on their own- but when they’re stuffed with sauerkraut and sauerkraut- amazing! These Bratwurst and Sauerkraut Pretzel Bites from Steele House Kitchen are a must-try!

Frickles are the best, but we have to admit we enjoy “mock frickles” even more! Try these Oven Baked “Fried” Pickles with a tasty Garlic Sauce from A Spicy Perspective for a clean-eating take that is just as delicious as the fried version.

Quick & Easy Savory Toasts

Four examples of ways to top toast: Sauerkraut, Tomatoes, salmon lox, and a sunny side up egg.

Mornings can be hectic, but your breakfast doesn’t have to be! A piece of toast can be the perfect palette for a delicious meal. Make one of our tasty, savory toast recipes for a quick and easy breakfast, brunch, lunch, or treat!

Sauer Avocado Toast (makes two pieces)

Sauerkraut and avocado on toast

  • Sliced bread of your choice, toasted
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1/2 cup Bubbies Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut, drained
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

Toast bread to your liking; cut avocado half and mash onto toast. Drizzle lemon juice over the avocado, add sauerkraut, then garnish with red pepper flakes.

 Tomato Horseradish Toast (makes two pieces)

Peppered tomato and horseradish cream cheese on toast

  • Sliced bread of your choice, toasted
  • 1 medium firm but ripe heirloom tomato
  • 2 TBsp Bubbies Prepared Horseradish
  • 2 TBsp cream cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toast bread to your liking; in a small bowl, mix horseradish and cream cheese until it’s well blended. Spread the horseradish mixture onto toast. Thinly slice tomato, layer on to the horseradish mixture, then sprinkle over salt and pepper.

Smoked Salmon Toast (makes two pieces)

smoked salmon, dill, and horseradish cream cheese on toast

  • Sliced bread of your choice, toasted
  • 4 slices of smoked salmon
  • 2 TBsp Bubbies Prepared Horseradish
  • 2 TBsp cream cheese
  • 1 TBSp Bubbies Dill Relish
  • Fresh dill for garnish

Toast bread to your liking; in a small bowl, mix horseradish, relish and cream cheese together until it’s well blended. Spread the mixture onto toast. Add salmon and top with pieces of fresh dill.

Avocado Breakfast Toast (makes two pieces)

avocado sauerkraut and sunny side up egg on toast

  • Sliced bread of your choice, toasted
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup of Bubbies Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut (drained)
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Toast bread to your liking; cook eggs. We chose to do over easy but scrambled or sunny side up works too! Cut avocado half and mash onto toast. Add drained sauerkraut, and top with eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.