Any tiny immature cucumber used for pickling, generally less than three inches long. Since few people have ever seen a True Gherkin this naming has been a successful subtrifuge.
India has become a major grower and pickler of these cucumbers taking
advantage of low labor rates but this industry is ecologically questionable
and there have been contract abuses as well. The photo specimens are from
Bulgaria with the largest measuring 2-7/8 inch long, 7/8 inch diameter and
weighing 5/8 ounce.
Buying: Not much to say here, they come in jars. Generally the smaller they are the more expensive, and if they are really tiny, come from France and are called Cornichons they are very expensive. Bulgarian are quite good, economical and come in various sizes.
Storing: Unopened jars will keep a good year in a cool dark location. Once opened they should be refrigerated (up to a month) or consumed within a couple days or flavor will suffer.
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