People have been asking, “Are pickles cucumbers?” for ages. While it may seem like the question should be easy to answer, it’s actually quite complicated.
Pickles are cucumbers that have been preserved by keeping them in a salty or sour liquid. This method of preservation allows the pickles to last for many months in sealed containers and are always ready to be eaten. The difference between pickles and cucumbers that have been preserved in brine and last much longer.
Cucumbers to me are a vegetable, while pickles are a condiment. For anyone who has ever pondered whether a pickle is a cucumber, this article will clear the air and explain what exactly are pickles and its relation to regular cucumbers.
What is Pickling?
Pickling is the process of preserving food in a salt or acid solution, such as vinegar. Preservatory action by acids is a result of fermentation, and the product is known as a pickle.
A QUICK NOTE: Dont mix food pickling with metal pickling as the metal procedure is for impurities removal, while food pickling is a culinary art. In history, Pickling is one of the most popular methods to preserve food and enhance its shelf life.
Pickles are one thing that you will observe common worldwide. In the US and Canada, pickles term generally used for cucumber pickles. There are miso pickles in Japan, salted duck eggs in China, and many more pickles around the world.
In addition to being an international food preservation technique, pickling is also an ancient one. Our ancestors used the pickling technique to store surplus food for winters and other hard or good times.
What Type of Cucumber is Used For Pickles?
Cucumbers are the best weight-loss vegetable with fewer calories and crunchy salad items. Be more careful while selecting cucumbers as there are varieties of them according to the area.
Mainly two main types of growing cucumbers are;
1. Slicing Cucumbers:
These are thin-slice, fleshy meat, usually larger, perfect for fresh eating.
2. Pickling Cucumbers:
Their skin is thicker, crisper in taste, and shorter in size than slicing cucumbers.
These pickling cucumbers have many types, but you will get knowledge about three main types here;
Boston, a seedless variety of cucumbers, comes as excellent pickling cucumbers. It is a fast hybrid type, first cultivated in 1877. The main attraction for use is its fast productivity, fully grown yield you can get in 50 to 55 days approximately.
It produces 3 to 4 inches of smooth-skinned cukes, sweet, black spines with tender fruit. They mature so quickly that you can harvest a second shift in spring or the fall season. The only problem with the harvest is cooler air or moist and lower soil temperatures.
This Off-white skin with black spines, creamy fruit is the Boothby family of Maines Livermore. They also grow fastly just in 55 to 65 days and have salt and pepper-like appearance.
You dont need to peel them as they are ever fresh, even at 7 inches in length. Boothby cucumbers are just ready when they are four inches long and have a sweet, crisper taste.
They are heirloom and not much resistant to diseases like others. The only problem with this variety is powdery mildew ailment. They need more space for growth and good air circulation to avoid this disease.
The Bush Pickle:
It is smooth-skinned, sweet fruits on compact plants with 3 to 5 inches in length. If you want to grow your pickling cucumbers at home, this is a perfect choice. It can be planted in plant pots if garden space is not enough.
These are very easy to harvest, like Boston pickles. You can get the mature fruit in just 50 to 55 days.
How are Pickle Cucumbers Similar To Regular Cucumbers?
In many ways, pickles and regular cucumbers are similar. A main important factor is a nutrition, and both types are somewhat similar in calories. A slight difference in pickled cucumbers calories can be due to sugar or other extra spices.
One cup of fresh cucumber contains 16 calories and 19% vitamin k. While in pickled cucumber pieces, vitamin K amount is less, and calories are more. Both types grow in hot temperatures and like plenty of water.
How Are They Similar?
Pickled and sliced, both types are sweet, sour, crunchy, and salty. Sizes range from 3 to 5 inches on average. Skin is slightly lighter for sliced cucumbers. Regular cucumbers can be used for pickling and pickling one for slicer salad.
Pickles are delicious when they are prepared with care and attention to detail. It is important to use fresh ingredients and avoid preservatives.
Are Pickles Vegetables?
Yes, they are vegetables.
They are harvested from cucurbitaceae family. This family includes squash, melons, pumpkins, gourds, cucumbers, etc.
Cucumbers are more commonly used for pickling. This is because of their ability to absorb salts.
But there are some varieties which are better than others. Some varieties are more suitable for slicing salads while others are best for pickling.
What Is The Difference Between Pickles And Relish?
There is no difference between relish and pickles. Both are made by slicing cucumbers into thin slices and adding vinegar, salt, and spices. But there is a difference in their taste. Relish has a spicy flavor while pickles are sweeter.
Relish is usually served with meat dishes, but pickles are eaten alone. Pickles are often served as appetizers, snacks, or side dishes.
How Pickles Are Made?
Pickles are made by pickling (or brining) vegetables in a salty liquid. The most common form is vinegar pickles, where the vegetable is submerged in a vinegar solution along with spices.
Other popular methods include salting and fermenting.
After that, the cucumber slices are drained and then stored in jars with vinegar, spices, and sometimes sugar.
The type of cucumber you use will affect how long it takes to make pickles. Longer-seasoned cucumbers like English cukes take less time to pickle than shorter-seasoned ones like slicers.
Pickles are usually made using white vinegar. However, red vinegar is also used for making pickles. In addition, pickles can be flavored with herbs such as dill, chives, or garlic.
How Do I Make Pickles?
Making pickles requires patience, time, and effort.
There are several steps involved in making pickles.
- First, choose a good variety of cucumber.
- Next, wash them well to remove any dirt or debris.
- Cut cucumbers into thin slices. After that, soak them in a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of salt per quart of water.
- Let the cucumbers sit for at least 30 minutes before draining. Drain the cucumbers thoroughly. Rinse them again under running tap water.
- Place them in a clean container and add enough cold water to cover the cucumbers completely.
- Cover the container and let the cucumbers sit overnight.
- Remove the cucumbers from the container and drain off excess liquid.
- Put the cucumbers into another clean container and add enough distilled vinegar to cover the cucumbers.
- Add 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds, 2 teaspoons of celery seed, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
- Mix these together and put the mixture into a jar.
- Close the lid tightly and store the jar away from sunlight. You may refrigerate the pickles after about 4 days.
Can I Freeze Pickles?
You can freeze pickles if you want to keep them longer. To do this, first cut your cucumbers into small pieces. After that, place them in a freezer bag and seal it. Store the frozen pickles in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Can All Cucumbers Be Pickled?
Theoretically, all varieties of cucumbers can be used as regular salad or slicing cucumbers and pickling one. Nonetheless, one type of preparation suits some varieties better than another.
The only thing you can keep in mind is sliced or eaten as such, the taste and crispiness. Essential of all qualities is it should not be soft or over ripped. Few varieties are grown explicitly for pickling.
English cucumbers are generally recognized as being best suited for pickling. They have a firm texture and they don’t spoil easily.
Sliced cucumbers are more delicate and tend to soften quickly when pickled.
If you want to preserve the flavor of cucumbers, you need to select the right kind of cucumbers.
For example, slicing cucumbers are perfect for salads but not so much for pickling.
How Long Does A Cucumber Take To Pickle?
The amount of time it takes for the pickling process to be completed depends on the size of the cucumber.
Regular dill pickles and sauerkraut are fermented and cured for about 3 weeks.
Pickles made with large cucumbers take longer to ferment.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, a long English cucumber will take even longer to pickle. This is because it has thicker skin which makes it harder to penetrate.
What Is The Best Way To Keep Pickles Fresh?
Pickles lose their freshness within a few days. Therefore, you must use them promptly.
They are best stored in airtight containers with tight lids.
To prevent molding, you should also make sure that the jars are kept away from light.
Are Gherkins Pickles?
Gerkins (or gherkin) pickles are usually smaller versions of regular pickles. These are most often served as appetizers.
Gherkins are available in different sizes. Some are thin and elongated while others are thick and round.
The thickness of the gherkins determines how long they last.
Thin-skinned gherkins are very perishable. However, they are ideal for making ketchup.
On the other hand, thick-skinned gherkins can be preserved for several years. They are great for eating raw.
Types of Cucumbers:
Here are a few pickling cucumber varieties that will help you pick one from the list rather than regular slicer or other types. Pioneer, good choices of cucumbers, are given as;
- Boston pickling
- Bush pickling
- National pickling
- Sweet slice burpless
- Liberty hybrid
- Country fair hybrid
- Wisconsin FMR 58
- Double yield
Benefits of Using Pickle Juice on Plants:
Amazingly pickle juice has many benefits; it is used for so many purposes, including meat tenderizer.
In the case of plants, it helps make the soil acidic. When the pH of the soil is acidic, it helps in mineral absorption. But dont pour pickle juice directly on the ground.
Hydrangeas and rhodies are shade-loving plants. They grow faster at PH 5.5 that is acidic. You can pour your pickle vinegar into the soil and provide a more acidic medium for growth. Vinegar pickle juice is also harmful in large amounts. Therefore, be more mindful of the amount.
Yes, pickles are cucumbers, in some way though. Pickles and cucumbers go hand and hand. Pickles are cucumbers preserved in a salty vinegar solution.
Cucumber is a healthy and unusual food with lots of health benefits. Cucumbers of many different types can be sliced and pickled.
By vinegar or salt preservation method, cucumbers can be preserved and used for a more extended period. These are helpful in weight loss, a good source of fiber and water. Both forms are full of nutrition and taste.