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This item was last sold on : 08/11/21
Gherkin cucumbers are generally small, averaging 4 to 8 centimeters in length, and have a cylindrical, oblong, to ovoid shape with rounded ends. The skin is firm, textured, and dark to light green, sometimes covered in many bumps. Underneath the surface, the flesh is crisp, pale green, aqueous, and contains a few small, edible seeds. Gherkin cucumbers are known for their crunchy, juicy consistency and have a mild, green, and vegetal flavor.
Gherkin cucumbers are available year-round, with a peak season in the summer through fall.
Gherkin cucumbers are botanically a part of the Cucurbitaceae family and are small fruits that grow on herbaceous, sprawling vines. There are many varieties of cucumbers that are generally labeled as Gherkins in markets, especially in Europe, and the fruits are favored for their size, crunchy consistency, and versatile nature. While Gherkin cucumbers are found fresh in limited supply, they are more famously known around the world in their pickled state. Gherkin cucumbers contain a high water content, and when soaked in a brine, the solution replaces the water in the flesh creating a flavorful, tangy pickle that can be incorporated as a salty and crunchy ingredient in both sweet and savory culinary applications.
Gherkin cucumbers are a good source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that boosts the immune system and contains potassium, which is an electrolyte that can help regulate fluid levels in the body. The fruits also provide some fiber and smaller amounts of iron, magnesium, vitamins A and K, phosphorus, and folate.
Gherkin cucumbers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as sautéing and stir-frying. The fruits can be consumed fresh and served with dips on appetizer plates, lightly sautéed with aromatics as a crisp side dish, tossed into green salads, or stir-fried with other vegetables. They can also be soaked in a sugar-based syrup and served as a sweet snack or dessert. In addition to using the fruits fresh or cooked, Gherkin cucumbers are more popularly pickled in a brine of various vinegar, herbs, and spices. Pickled Gherkins can be eaten as a snack, chopped and stirred into egg salad, minced into a relish, or layered into burgers and sandwiches. They can also be incorporated into soups, stews, and goulash. Gherkin cucumbers pair well with herbs such as dill, tarragon, and rosemary, garlic, onions, meats such as poultry, beef, bacon, pancetta, and lamb, seafood, potatoes, and tomatoes. Fresh Gherkin cucumbers will keep 1-2 weeks when stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
In London, Gherkin cucumbers are traditionally pickled and served with fish and chips, which is considered to be one of the signature dishes of the city. Gherkins add a crisp, salty flavor to the rich, fried fish, and at some pubs in London, the pickles are also sometimes referred to as a “wally.” The name “wally” is an old cockney term that was initially used for “olive” in London. Pickled olives were often sold in wooden barrels in the local markets, and as fermented Gherkins increased in popularity, they were also sold in the same barrels, earning the same nickname. Many pubs still use the slang “wally” for Gherkins today, and the term has become a favored name only known in the United Kingdom. In addition to flavoring fish and chips, there is a glass, commercial building in London that has been nicknamed “the Gherkin” for its oblong, curved shape. The skyscraper was built by famous architect Sir Norman Foster and opened in 2004.
Gherkin cucumbers are believed to be native to Asia, specifically India, and were quickly spread to Europe and the Middle East during ancient times. Today Gherkin cucumbers have become naturalized around the world and are sold through local farmer’s markets and specialty grocers in South America, Central America, the Caribbean, the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. They are also sold through online seed catalogs for home garden use.
Recipes that include Gherkin Cucumbers. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Kiwi Country Girl||Bottled Gherkins (Homemade Dill Pickles)|