Gherkin pickle is prepared by pickling the gherkins in cans or jars with vinegar or brine solution. The gherkin is a vegetable which belongs to the genus of cucumber and also resembles cucumber in its nutritional values. The gherkin which grows about 4-8 cm in length is considered to be apt for pickling. It is pickled in brine or vinegar solution (which is often flavored with herbs) to make it look like a cucumber. This pickle is normally left to ferment for a specific period of time before using. The pickled gherkin is commonly served as a side dish and paired with a sandwich. The Burr Gherkin or West Indian variety of gherkin is used in the preparation. Sometimes young cucumber is converted to gherkin by preserving it in a jar of vinegar solution.
Origin of Gherkin Pickle
The first mention of gherkin in a pickled form can be traced back to 4500 years in Mesopotamia. It is believed that this pickle was also favored by the Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, for the health benefits imparted by it. Cleopatra called them magic cucumbers and believed that the pickles will actually increase her beauty. The European fancy with the gherkin pickle carried on in the later years too. Napolean and Roman troupes enjoyed this pickle even while on war and during the Second World War about 40% of the gherkin pickle production in US catered to soldiers on warfront. The gherkin was perceived as a humble aid to warfare. The pickled gherkins were served to the soldiers with the belief that it will help to combat the anomalies of war.
Gherkin Pickle Recipe
Culinary cucumbers (gherkins), garlic, salt, dill, white distilled vinegar, and hot banana peppers (optional) are required to make gherkin pickle. The pickle preparation begins by mixing garlic with vinegar and dill in a jar and salt is added to the mixture at this point. The gherkins are stuffed into the mixture and vinegar or brine solution is poured over it until gherkins get completely immersed. The caps of the jar are sealed tightly and placed in the pot. The pot of water is boiled for about 5 minutes. Then the jars are cooled and stored in dark place. The gherkin pickle can be used immediately the next day.