Scott Kravitz (left) is the creator of Ray's Cocktail Eggs. (Photo/Natasha Saravanja)
Scott Kravitz (left) is the creator of Ray's Cocktail Eggs. (Photo/Natasha Saravanja)

Scott Kravitz’s pickled cocktail eggs; Manischewitz’s ‘Crypto Gelt’

Food coverage is supported by a generous donation from Susan and Moses Libitzky.

If you’re looking for the perfect holiday host/hostess gift for the food/cocktail enthusiast who has everything, here’s a hot tip from the Organic Epicure: Look no further than a jar of Ray’s Cocktail Eggs.

Made by local Jewish food entrepreneur Scott Kravitz, the cocktail eggs are designed to be a garnish for a martini or bloody mary, but “I’ve found that very few of them actually make it into cocktails,” Kravitz said. “The majority of them are eaten straight from the jar, put into salads or on crackers or with charcuterie.”

Kravitz, 53, lives in Noe Valley and works as a film animator.  His inspiration to pickle eggs came from several sources, including old movies where jars of cocktail eggs were seen in bars, and even on “The Simpsons.”

As was true for so many people, the pandemic provided the perfect opportunity to experiment with food at home. It took Kravitz two years to procure the proper permits and bring the product to market.

When he started experimenting he used chicken eggs, but of course they are too large for cocktails. Then a friend recommended he try quail eggs, which are smaller and denser.

“Once I came up with the idea of cocktail eggs, I knew no one else was doing it,” he said. “It was one of those things, like, someone should really do this.”

That someone turned out to be him.

Ray’s Cocktail Eggs are pickled in vinegar with his proprietary blend of spices, garlic, sugar and salt.

While this writer has yet to try one in a cocktail, she agrees that they make a delicious shot of protein, straight out of the jar.

“My goal was to come up with an egg that tasted good on its own but didn’t clash with the gin in a martini, and I worked on a recipe for about a year,” he said.

As part of his research, he bought some shelf-stable pickled quail eggs and found them “unpalatable, tasting of preservatives and salt, with a rubbery texture,” he said.

Ray’s eggs need to be refrigerated and will last six to eight months or more.

“In terms of competition, there’s nothing out there,” he said.

The product is named after his 6-year-old son Ray, who loves the pickled eggs. And young Ray was named after Kravitz’s grandmother Rae, who came from Odessa and always had a variety of pickled items like herring and vegetables on her table.

A native of Los Angeles, he has fond memories of going on deliveries with his father, who owned a small linen supply company, to some of L.A.’s storied restaurants. Kravitz used to bartend and was a co-owner of the Zodiac Club, a San Francisco restaurant that closed in 2018 after a 20-year run.

Kravitz is selling the cocktail eggs directly from his website for delivery in San Francisco; they’re also available at PlumpJack Wine & Spirits. They sell for $16 for a jar of 10 or 11 eggs, with a $2.50 delivery fee. A store in his native Los Angeles is carrying them, too, and he’s looking for more outlets.

As a one-man operation, Kravitz fulfills orders and delivers them to his customers. He picks up eggs either from a distributor in San Jose or Nargil Farms in Turlock and cooks them in batches of about 1,000 at a time to make about 100 jars in one cooking session. It was also he who placed one of those jars in the hands of cocktail writer Robert Simonson at his book reading at Omnivore Books (which got him a profile in Simonson’s newsletter for the New York Times), and delivered them to this writer also.

“I had a suspicion that it was really hard to bring a product to market, but I didn’t know how hard until I did it,” he said. “I wanted to do it as an educational experience and to see what it took, and it’s definitely been an adventure.”

No one can say that the iconic kosher brand Manischewitz isn’t evolving with the times. New for this Hanukkah season, the legacy company has introduced “Crypto Gelt,” calling it “the most revolutionary innovation in the field of Hanukkah since the introduction of the dreidel itself.”

Promo art of Manischewitz's new 'Crypto Gelt'
Promo art of Manischewitz’s new ‘Crypto Gelt’

The promotional copy continues: “It’s 2022, after all… traditional coins are a relic of the past, most often found in between couch cushions, not your bank account… Manischewitz Crypto Gelt is sure to be the smartest (and tastiest!) crypto investment in your portfolio.”

The bags of Crypto Gelt look suspiciously like the standard variety of gelt, except for the updated markings on the gold foil wrapping.

Crypto Gelt comes in packages of 36 individual bags of chocolate gelt and is available at Afikomen in Berkeley and other Judaica stores, as well as online.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."