Food

Difference Between Gherkins and Pickles

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Main Difference

The main difference between Gherkins and Pickles is that Gherkins are the pickle of 1-3-inch sized cucumber, whereas Pickles are a variety of food that passes through the process of pickling.

Gherkins vs. Pickles

Gherkins are pickles of small-sized cucumber, mostly 1-3-inch cucumber, while pickles can be of any type of cucumber and other food items. Gherkins are soaked in water, and then brine solution is added, the brine solution replaces the water; on the other hand, pickles are dipped in vinegar or salty solution.

Gherkins are crunchier than pickles. The water content is more in gherkins, while water is less in pickles. The composition of gherkins includes sugar, which gives it a sweet taste. Pickles are sour due to the acidic environment. Gherkins utilize more time for preparation. The time of production of pickles is less.

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Comparison Chart

GherkinsPickles
Gherkin is a kind of pickle.Pickle is prepared from a variety of food.
Food
Small cucumberDifferent types of food
Preparation
Brine solution along with spicesThe food is soaked in brine or vinegar solution
Crunch
Gherkins are crunchierPickled cucumber is less crunchy
Water Content
MoreLess
Specificity
cucumber between 1-3-inch sizeAny type of pickled cucumber
Taste
Have a slightly sweet tasteSour taste
Duration
30 days3-4 hours

What are Gherkins?

Gherkin is a word used for pickled cucumber or fermented cucumber. The cucumber is pickled in brine or vinegar solution after it passes through the process of fermentation. The fermentation occurs in an acidic environment, mostly lactose fermentation. Gherkins were developed for the labors of the Great Wall of China; evidence suggests that it was first imported from India and developed in the Tigris Valley of Mesopotamia. The production of pickles is dependent on lactobacillus bacteria. This bacterium is naturally present in the peel of the cucumber.

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Sometimes, during harvesting and cleaning processes, the bacterium is lost. Then the fermentation process is continued by using microbial culture products like yogurt, dough bread, etc. Small cucumbers are placed in a vessel or jar, and spices are poured in it. The spices are of many types, typically include cheery, grape, oak, mustard seeds, garlic, bay laurel leaves, dried fruits, and salt. The jar is filled with hot water and leaves for weeks. The jar must be airtight. The duration of fermentation depends upon the external temperature and texture of the cucumber.

Cucumbers are low in calories. They are low in saturated fat and cholesterol but supply a significant amount of sodium, potassium, vitamin A and K. 30g of sour gherkins supply 12-16 micrograms of vitamin K and 3 kilocalories of energy. One slice of gherkin provides 350-500 mg of sodium. Sweet gherkins supply more calories of energy. Sweet pickle supply less sodium as well. Gherkins are used in sandwiches and hamburgers.

What are Pickles?

Pickles are the fruits and vegetables that undergo the process of pickling. Pickling is a process of increasing the shelf life of perishable foods either by preserving it by acidic fermentation or brining or immersing in the vinegar. Vegetable oil and vinegar are applied in the pickling process in most of the countries of East Asia. Pickling imparts taste, texture, and flavor to food. The resultant of the pickling procedure is called a pickle. Mostly fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy are pickled.

The pH of pickle is between 4-5; this is a distinct characteristic that kills the microbes—pickling preserves the perishable foods for more extended periods. Herbs and spices offer antimicrobial function, which includes garlic, cinnamon, cloves, and mustard seeds. A brine solution is preferred for foods with higher water content. Brine can be made with dry salt. If we take an example of Korean kimchi and sauerkraut, adding salt draws water from vegetables, and lactic acid bacteria creates the desired acidity.

Some pickles are prepared by soaking in vinegar. Pickling is like canning procedure as it does not require sterile product before sealing. One cup of pickle provides 17 kilocalories and a significant amount of sodium. Pickles are good for gut health but should be used in moderation. Evidence suggests that pickles are involved in esophagus cancers. In the united states, pickles are used as side dishes with their meals. However, pickles offer a significant amount of vitamin K.

Key Differences

  1. Gherkins are a specific kind of pickles, whereas pickle prepares from a variety of foods.
  2. Gherkins prepare with small cucumbers; on the other hand, the composition of pickles include different foods.
  3. Gherkins are produced by soaking cucumber in brine solution along with spices, while pickles are made with brining or adding vinegar to food items.
  4. Gherkins are crispier than pickles; on the flip side, pickles are less crispy.
  5. Gherkins manufacture in more watery solution; conversely, the water content in pickles is less.
  6. Gherkins are specific to 1-3 inch cucumbers, whereas pickles can be of any type of cucumber.
  7. Gherkins may have a sweet taste, while the pickles are sour.
  8. Gherkins prepare in a month; conversely, pickle of any cucumber prepares in 3-4 hours.

Conclusion

Gherkins and Pickles are both made with fruit and vegetable. Gherkins are pickles of specific types of cucumber, mostly small cucumbers. Pickles include a variety of food and vegetables prepared by storing in brine.

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Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson