The Gherkin is a different type of cucumber. It almost looks to that of a cucumber. It is around 4-8 cm long. They are usually canned or pickled before being sold in the market.The crooked and otherwise damaged fruits have to be segregated and put away. The stalks have to be removed. Also, some of the fruits fall victims to insect infestations. These need to be thrown away. The gherkins should also be carefully washed before being cooked. After these initial procedures, these fruits also need to be dipped in vinegar or acetic acid, as per the requirements.
Gherkin should not be allowed to grow for too long. They should be harvested when they are around 4 cm long. If it is allowed to grow larger, then it loses its sweet flavor and turns bitter with time. When you go to the market to buy the gherkins, make sure that it is in the lighter shades of green, and not turning yellow or dark green. If you are buying pickled or canned gherkins, you should make sure that the can is completely sealed and airtight, that is it is impervious to heat, air, and dust. There should not be any dark spots or stains on it, as these are signs of the fruit losing its freshness.
They can be used as a whole, after being preserved in vinegar or acetic acid, which enhances the flavor. They can also be sliced longitudinally, and consumed after adding pepper and salt, along with other spices of the user’s choice to it. It makes a very tasty treat. Other culinary usages are:
- They can be chopped into small pieces, or cut into matchstick like structures. The latter is very commonly used in many Oriental cuisines.
- They are widely used to make almost all types of salads, ranging from vegetable salads to chicken salads. They also find their use in soups, particularly vegetable soups.
- Gherkin pickles are very commonly used. They are usually soaked in honey or some sugary syrup. This makes it an awesome dessert.
- They can also be fried deeply, which is very commonly done in China. It makes an excellent snack.
After the gherkins have been bought from the market, they need to be stored properly, as like most other vegetables they tend to lose their freshness very easily. They are usually stored by putting them in glass bottles filled with vinegar or acetic acid. This is then refrigerated. Though it remains fresh for about a week or so, you should consume it as soon as possible, as it starts losing its freshness.
- It is rich in fiber. Fiber is lacking in most of the food items in a normal American diet, and thus gherkins help to make up for this lack.
- Gherkins have a high percentage of water. It thus serves as a cool refreshment. It prevents your body from getting dehydrated and supplies water to your body, which is vital for survival.
- It makes your skin glow. It also helps to alleviate any skin inflammations.
- Gherkins have a rich content of ascorbic acid, which is one of the richest natural sources of Vitamin C. It also contains caffeic acid, which reduces swellings on the skin and also other skin disorders.
- Gherkins have a high content of minerals, including Calcium, potassium, magnesium, and silica. Potassium and Magnesium help in the lowering of your blood pressure. Thus it is advised for high blood pressure patients. Calcium makes your bones and teeth stronger. Silica plays a vital role in the cure of muscle disorders. It also helps in the effective functioning of all types of connective tissues, including tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
- The juice extracted from this fruit serves as a very cool and refreshing drink, and also is a rich reservoir of minerals and vitamins.
- It is rich in various vitamins, which helps in making immune system stronger and allows you to fight against many types of diseases.