Pickles are known for their salty crisp and flavour, refreshing snap, but the world of pickles is actually rather diverse—just glance at the pickle department in any major supermarket.
Pickles are a popular product and have been for hundreds of years, according to some sources—whether as a barbeque staple or a post-workout technique for restoring electrolytes. However, because different civilizations around the world have evolved different sorts of pickles, there are several different varieties and flavours that go along with the wider term pickle.
And now that we’ve figured out how to produce your own pickles, it’s time to think about the many varieties and what makes each one tasty. While the essential ingredients are frequently the same—a cucumber and a pickling liquid—there are nuances in the technique and even the flavouring you add.
In case you wish to produce your own pickles, we’ve outlined some of the different pickle kinds you could find in stores, as well as what affects their flavour profiles:
When it refers to these traditional pickles, there are two widely recognized varieties. The traditional dill pickle, which is flavoured with dill and is the most popular option, is the first.
The other is kosher dill pickles, which are really named because they began in Jewish delis in NYC, which were supervised by rabbis, rather than because they follow the dietary restrictions of keeping kosher. There is one significant variation in flavour between a standard dill and a kosher dill: kosher dill pickles frequently incorporate garlic in combination to dill.
While salt and liquid, as well as an extra herb, are the traditional ingredients in a pickle brine, there are other pickles that add the sugar to the mix. After the sugar has been added, some recipes use spices like cinnamon that go well with sweeter foods.
Traditional sweet pickles, on the other hand, rely on typical pickle ingredients such as mustard seed or bay leaves to balance out the sweetness. A small amount of sweetness is all that is required to make a sweeter pickle.
Bread-and-butter pickles, a sweeter pickle kind, are a tad misleading: these sliced specialties don’t include any bread or butter. Adding a touch of sweet onion to them is common. Instead of a spear of dill pickle on the outside of the burger, these are frequently found on the burger itself.
These pickles got their name from their prominence during the Great Depression, according to legend. Because all of the components were cheap and widely available, bread, butter, and pickles lunches were a staple throughout this period. These refrigeration classics have retained the relationship in their name. These are also used quite a bit in BBQs; you find out more here.
Smaller cucumber varieties are commonly used to make these pickles, which lends them their nickname. They are typically only a few inches long, and in the UK and other European countries, the name is also applied to a larger variety of pickles.
Cornichons, a classic French pickle, are produced from Gherkin cucumbers plucked before they reach full ripeness for a stronger flavour. They’re typically flavoured with tarragon, and they’re also available in sweet variations.