What Is a Gherkin Pickle?

We can all agree that pickles are a shining beacon in the culinary world. An acquired taste, to be sure, but once they hook you, there’s really nothing better. While there’s a myriad of varieties to consider, from sweet to wildly savory, today we’re talking about one of the MVPs: the gherkin! Let’s get workin’ and start talking gherkins! 

What’s a gherkin?

Gherkins are pickled cucumbers that have been soaked in brine and vinegar and left to ferment (the perfect spa treatment, if you ask me!). What sets them apart from other pickles? Well, gherkins are smaller than typical dill pickles because they are made from younger cucumbers. Also, in comparison to your standard dill pickles, gherkins have a bumpier texture and are crunchier. 

Gherkins are usually one to two inches long, and flavored with anything from dill and garlic to sweeter additives, which sets them apart from, say, cornichons, which are similarly tiny, but typically flavored with dill, tarragon, and pepper. 

So, is a gherkin a pickled cucumber?

Friend, not only is a gherkin a pickled cucumber, but it’s a pickled baby cucumber! They’re practically the veal of the pickle world! Actually, forget I said that, that imagery is too depressing if you think about it too hard. Let’s move on, shall we? 

How to pronounce “gherkin” correctly?

While one might be tempted to pronounce the silent “h” in the word, gherkin is pronounced “gur·kn.” No “h” sound necessary. 

What does “gherkin” mean?

The word “gherkin” comes from the Dutch word “gurken” (a far easier spelling, if you ask me!) which means “small pickled cucumber.” 

We hope this has shed a bit of necessary light on the issue of “we don’t know enough about gherkin pickles,” which we’ve noticed has been plaguing this planet for quite some time. We’ve done our part, now it’s up to you. The next time you’re in the pickle aisle, we hope you’ll do your due diligence by purchasing a jar of gherkins. You could just be saving yourself from a boring meal in your future. Good day, and good gherkin to you all.


About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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