these are a few of my favourite things no. 1 gherkins

“Doctor, Doctor! My family think I’m mad!”


“I like gherkins.”

“You like gherkins? There’s nothing wrong with that, I like gherkins too.”

“Ooh, you must come round my house and see my collection. I’ve got hundreds!”

Where I come from, if you have courgettes, people ask  “Why have you cooked the cucumber?”. So let’s not split hairs over the difference between cornichons and gherkins. For the record, it’s that cornichons are French.

Apparently Haimisha means down to earth, but there’s nothing ordinary about these chubby little beauties. Rumour has it, that the name Elswood is a contraction of Elstree and Boreham Wood. But that can’t be true, as she’s a real person. Has to be – she’s on the label. If you are Mrs Elswood or know her, please get in touch and put us out of our misery. I quote Stephen Fry on Twitter: “Haimisha or sweet and sour? It’s SO hard to decide. Pickled cucumber vacillation may not be a sin, but one does feel that it is a failing.”

Some further French cornichons. This time they are ‘extra-fins’, which menas extra fine.

I have not one but two of these unopened jars of gherkins. A sign of my general worrying about the possibility of running out of gherkins.

This whopping jar of Dutch gherkins was a Christmas present from Tamsinella. You can still see the little bow on the top. Gherkins this big are saved for a special occasion.

A travel pickle. An unknown quantity when not at home, the gherkin can differ dramatically when you are abroad. This American pickle was a miss. Sweet and mustardy at the same time with overpowering vinegar that made your nose run. All in all, a rather unpleasant experience. As it was about 98 degrees outside,  the words ‘No Refrigeration Needed’ should have been warning enough, I suppose.

These car-based Russian gherkins, on the other hand were amazing.

Look at this fabulous stash of pickled gherkins spotted in a kitchen in Poland. Someone has been squirreling them away to feast on in the winter. Note the careful inclusion of vine leaves to add flavour.

I hope you have enjoyed our little tour of our gherkin collection.


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