Gherkins vs. Cucumbers: Is there a Difference?
↓ Keep reading to watch this amazing video
Knowing the difference between gherkins and cucumbers may not be of interest to everyone, but both plants have some unique and interesting facts. But are they related to each other? In what ways are they similar? Are they used the same way, and are all cucumbers technically gherkins?
In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about gherkins and cucumbers so you can get a complete picture of them. We'll discuss whether gherkins and cucumbers are related, and what they taste like. Finally, we'll discuss the culinary uses of these unique plants, as well as their nutritional value. Let's get started now!
Comparing Gherkins and Cucumbers
|describe||A particular variety of cucumber that never grows larger than 6 inches. The texture is bumpy and crunchy, and the skin is thick and crunchy. There are only shades of green and are often called gherkins when pickled. Taste is sour, although there are sweet varieties||Consists of three varieties, depending on intended use; grows as a slender, cylindrical vine. Shades of green and yellow, usually with lines or streaks on the outside and small bumps on the skin. The inside is white or cream with similar colored seeds. Taste is very mild, but slightly melon and bitter in the peel|
|use||Always served pickled and raw with snack plates and salads. Very popular with bolognese dishes and other French delicacies; can be marinated with herbs for extra flavor, including tarragon, garlic, and dill.||Popular for its refreshing and neutral flavor; barely cooked and eaten raw. The three (sliced, marinated, and unbleached) have different culinary uses: one is good for pickling, one is good for slicing and eating, and the unbleached is the tastiest and least gassy!|
|Nutrition Information||Same nutritional value as cucumber, just with added vinegar and pickling spices||Minimal nutritional value aside from high water content and vitamin K|
|special function||In France, gherkins are also called cornichons!||Originated in India more than 3000 years ago!|
Key Differences Between Gherkins and Cucumbers
There are a number of key differences between gherkins and cucumbers. For example, all gherkins are technically cucumbers, but not all cucumbers are gherkins. Additionally, gherkins are much smaller than regular cucumber varieties. Gherkins are completely pickled, while many cucumber varieties can be eaten raw and unpickled. Finally, gherkins have a more textured rind than regular cucumbers.
Let us now discuss all these differences in more detail.
Gherkins vs Cucumbers: A Breakdown
Given that all gherkins are technically cucumbers, but not all cucumbers are technically gherkins, they are classified the same way. They are all members of the Cucurbitaceae family and are scientifically known as cucumbers . Gherkins are simply smaller cucumbers that are great for pickling or preserving with herbs.
Gherkins vs Cucumbers: Explained
One of the main ways to distinguish gherkins from other cucumber varieties is that gherkins are much smaller than other varieties. Gherkins, for example, average 1-6 inches long, while other cucumber varieties can even grow up to 12 inches.
In addition to their overall size difference, however, gherkins often have more bumpy and textured rinds compared to the smoother rinds of other cucumber varieties. Compared with the sour and pickled taste of ordinary gherkins, the taste of raw cucumbers is mild and clean. Otherwise, aside from the small form of the gherkins, the plants look very similar!
Gherkins vs Cucumbers: Uses
Gherkins and other cucumber varieties serve multiple purposes, and they tend to overlap. For example, gherkins can only be pickled and eaten raw after being fermented for a certain period of time, while cucumbers are often eaten raw and not pickled. However, other varieties of cucumbers are pickled. These varieties are much larger than the average gherkin.
Gherkins are popular with pate and charcuterie plates, while raw cucumbers are popular with hummus or salads and drinks. Overall, unpickled cucumbers have a crisp and bright flavor, while gherkins have pickled and herbaceous flavors, especially when marinated with garlic or tarragon!
Gherkins vs Cucumbers: Nutritional Information
Gherkins and cucumbers have the same nutritional value as each other because they are technically the same plant. However, gherkins get more nutritional value from the vinegar pickling than raw cucumbers do not. For the most part, gherkins and cucumbers contain high amounts of vitamin K but otherwise have negligible nutritional value.
Gherkins vs Cucumbers: Features
Cucumber is a special plant: it's ancient and takes a long time to harvest. Records go back at least 3,000 years, and cucumbers originated in India. It's unclear exactly when gherkins became popular, but they appear with many snack plates around the world. In fact, gherkins are called cornichons in France, another name you may know!
- Saw an alligator biting an electric eel with 860 volts
- The 15 Deepest Lakes in America
- Watch rare coyotes and bobcats now
More from AZ Animals
about the author
I am a non-binary freelance writer working full time in Oregon. A graduate of Southern Oregon University with a BA in Theater and a major in Creative Writing, I have an interest in a variety of topics, especially the history of the Pacific Northwest. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping on the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my family's kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast-iron skillet.
Thanks for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the 10hunting.com editorial team.