There was a time when Laurel or Yanny took the entire world by storm and almost every person seem to be in a dilemma of what caught their ear. However, even before Laurel or Yanny, there existed a dilemma between gherkin vs pickle and like the present generation, people from the ancient days too were often caught getting confused between the two and thinking them alike.
While the two appear to be the same and they both also have a sour taste, gherkin is not a pickled cucumber. Gherkins tend to be smaller than pickles and they also tend to be crunchier as well as crispier. Pickles are any edible item that goes through the pickling process that consists of the addition of vinegar, salt, and water. Hence, gherkins may come under the collective term of pickles but since gherkin is not a collective noun, pickles cannot be referred to as gherkins.
What is the difference between a gherkin and a pickle?
Gherkins may share a close resemblance to pickled cucumbers and they may also sangre a similar taste but they are quite different. Here are some factors that differentiate gherkin vs pickle from one another.
- Gherkins are also referred to as mouse melon or even as cucamelon. They are also referred to as miniature cucumber and this is where the first difference between the two lies. Gherkins are much smaller than pickled cucumbers and while they both have a sour taste, gherkins have a crispier texture and are also crunchier to taste. Cucumbers belong to Cucumis Sativus species while gherkins belong to an entirely different species called Melothria.
- The time required to pickle cucumber and a gherkin also has a vast difference. Cucumbers can be pickled within a day itself as it just takes four to five hours. However, pickling a gherkin takes an estimate of thirty days. In order to pickle a gherkin, you need to store it in a dark place with low temperature and some gherkin varieties may even need to be stored for up to two years. Gherkins also tend to have a high rate of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium which make them very nutritious.
- The main difference between pickle vs gherkin is the fact that pickling is a process that involves the use of a brine solution for the purpose of elevating the taste of a food item or to preserve the food for a long time while gherkin in itself is a food item and it can also be pickled.
Do gherkins taste like pickles?
Well, as has been mentioned above, pickling is a process while gherkin is good in itself. Hence, all pickles aren’t sour. Gherkins have a sour taste and they are also crunchy and crispy and they can be pickled. While they do have a sour taste naturally, you can also sweeten it by adding sugar in a small quantity either to the brine solution or vinegar. You can flavor the gherkins with herbs like tarragon, rosemary, or mustard seeds.
Pickled can refer to any pickled item, not just gherkin. Gherkins in their fresh and raw state often taste bitter and that is why many people choose to pickle them but all pickled ones do not taste like gherkins since they contain entirely different ingredients and flavors. Some pickles may be made from leafy vegetables while some also pickle animal products and depending on the ingredients they use, it may be sweet, salty, or sour. Hence, different pickles have different tastes while gherkins may taste sweet, salty, or sour depending on the flavor and ingredients you choose to go for.
Are gherkins sweet or dill?
While you may think gherkin is a food which it is, but the term gherkin is given to it because of its small size. You can also pickle gherkins with vinegar, salt, and water, and you can even add a sweet flavor to it by adding some sugar to the mixture. You can even flavor it as a dill or kosher dill. When you dill it, you get a balanced taste of sweet, sour, and salty as well as a briny and juicy flavor and a crunchy texture. Hence, depending on the flavors you add, gherkins can either be sweet, salty, sour or dill.
Why is a gherkin called a gherkin?
The use of the terms gherkin vs pickle differs from country to country. In some parts of Europe and UK, the terms pickle and gherkins are often used interchangeably. This means that the terms are used to refer to both items. The word gherkin is derived from ‘gurken’ which is a Dutch word meaning small pickled cucumber. In German, it also translates to cucumber. Gherkins are not cucumbers but one of the varieties of cucumber. They are smaller, crispier, and crunchier than pickled cucumbers and are very sour and salty.
They are also referred to as bread and butter pickles because there was a time in history when cucumbers were cheap. This was during the Great Depression following the Second World War. During this time, cucumbers were cost effective and they were also very easy to grow. As a result, they made a great combination of sandwiches. They were often pickled and preserved for longer storage during wartime. Gradually, they took the commercial platform and started being sold in stores. Ever since then, the name bread and butter pickle have been attached to pickled gherkins.
Are pickled gherkins bad for you?
Pickled and gherkins are usually eaten as side dishes to add some spicy or sweet flavor to your main dish. However, even if they may not be as healthy as your main dish, they actually contain nutritious elements. Here are some health benefits of gherkin:
- Firstly, they can allow you to have a balanced diet because they have a low mouth of calories and fat. It is also important to note that this amount will differ between every variety of gherkin you choose to eat.
- They allow you to keep your weight in check and monitor your calorie and fat intake. As a result, it prevents unhealthy weight gain and consequently keeps heart diseases and illnesses like high blood pressure at bay.
- Gherkins also contain nutritious vitamins like iron, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, as well as vitamin K.
These are some of the ways in which gherkins can benefit your health but keep in mind that too much of it may also have some drawbacks. Sweet gherkins specifically have a higher sugar content which can actually lead to unhealthy weight gain may make you prone to heart diseases and other illnesses. Hence, it is very important to keep your sweet gherkin intake in check and consume it in moderation so that you do not have to suffer any harmful effects of the same.
Can you eat gherkins without pickling?
The natural taste of gherkins is a bit bitter. Gherkins can be cooked, they can be pickled, and they can also be eaten raw. If you have no problem with bitter edible items then you can also eat the gherkins without pickling. If you want to pickle your gherkins, you can add salt to the gherkins and bundle it in a jar covered with vinegar that is spiced and leave it overnight. This is not a limited recipe of pickled gherkins for you can add your own flavors and ingredients according to your own preference.
You can add brine solution and vinegar to the gherkins to keep them firm and store them for winters or preserve them for a long time as well. If you do want to do through the trouble of pickling the gherkins and want to eat them fresh then you can enjoy its raw and bitter taste.
You can eat it as a salad but before you eat it, make sure you peel it. You can also eat it raw with fruits and sprinkle a bit of salt and herbs for taste. If you like crunchy gherkins then it is better to eat is when it is fresh whereas if you want them soft then you can preserve it as a pickle and store it for a long time.
Are all pickles gherkins?
Pickles are a process of pickling vegetables or any other food item by adding some vinegar, water, salt, fermentation, and brine solution to it. Pickled food is any food that has gone through this process of pickling. It is used to add flavor to food or preserve it for a long time. In order to pickle food, you can add some vinegar and brine solution to ferment it and preserve it as well.
Gherkins, on the other hand, are a form of plant and are small in size. They are crunchy and crispy. They can also be pickled with vinegar, water, brine solution, and salt or they can be eaten raw as well. Hence, gherkins can be pickles but since pickles are a collective term for all edible items that undergo the process of pickling, all pickles cannot be considered gherkins.
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