By Temi Olugbenga

What is a pickle? Beyond the gherkin

Picture this: you stroll into your local deli, your eyes scanning the pickle aisle like a seasoned detective on a mission. What does that pickle look like in your mind’s eye? A gherkin, right?

Let's start with the basics. Contrary to popular belief, a pickle is not just a fancy term for a gherkin. Oh no, it's a pickle party, and cucumbers are just the tip of the briny iceberg. A pickle, in all its glory, is any foodstuff that has taken a transformative, life-extending dip in the magical concoction we call pickling liquid – vinegar, sugar, salt and aromatics – emerging as a crunchy, tangy flavour bomb, ready to host a party in your mouth.

What is a Gherkin?

Now, I know what you're thinking: But what about the gherkin? Ah, the gherkin, the misunderstood sibling of the cucumber. Gherkins, with their petite size and bumpy exteriors, are simply the name given to the vegetable and they needn't be pickled to gain the title of a gherkin. Simply put, a gherkin is a type of cucumber. Not all cucumbers are gherkins, not all gherkins are pickled, and not all pickles are gherkins. Confused yet? Join the club!

But pickles, my friends, come in all shapes and sizes, from the classic dill pickled cucumber to the adventurous spicy pickled pineapple variety. The pickle game is strong, my friends!

So, the next time you find yourself in a pickle pickle (say that five times fast), remember that it's not just about gherkins. It's about celebrating the diversity, the brininess, and the downright quirky nature of pickles in all their glory (change that last pickle to people and you’ve got a mindset to live by too).

The world of pickles is a vast and mysterious realm, filled with cucumbers, gherkins, and a whole bunch of other unsuspecting veggies. It's a pickle party, and everyone's invited! So, grab a jar, embrace the crunch, and let the pickle adventures begin!


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