Pickles: Cucumber

A pickled cucumber is a popular pickled fruit in the USA and Canada, where the word "pickle" by itself usually refers to a pickled cucumber. Cucumbers are cooked in spiced sugar syrup to make sweet pickles; or pickled in brine or placed in a vinegar solution with dill, garlic or a combination of dill and garlic, along with other spices, to make sour pickles. Pickle relish, a traditional condiment for hot dogs, is made from sweet pickles, although dill relish is also available.


Pickling Methods
* Processed pickles (also called brined or fermented pickles) are made the old-fashioned way, by a process of fermentation. The bacteria in the cucumber are allowed to reduce the sugars present which produces lactic acid. This usually takes one to five weeks depending on how sour you desire the end product, and the resulting pickles have a shelf life of many months.

* Fresh-packed pickles are made by pasteurizing cucumbers to kill bacteria or make bacterial spores dormant and then placing the cucumbers in vinegar (which contains acetic acid). Fresh-packed pickles have a shelf life of many months.

* Refrigerated pickles (sometimes called overnight pickles) are made by placing cucumbers in a vinegar solution and refrigerating them. Compared to processed or fresh-packed pickles, refrigerated pickles have a relatively short shelf life, and even unopened jars should be kept refrigerated.

Most commercially produced pickles are fresh-packed. Home-made pickles are often brined or made using a simpler, short brine method in which the pickles are placed in brine just long enough to draw out water and then canned in hot vinegar.


Trivia
- The armies of Julius Caesar and Napoleon were fed pickles.
- During World War II, forty percent of the pickles produced in the U.S. went to the armed forces.


Miscellaneous Pickle: Cucumber Info
Many different types of cucumber pickles can be made.

Dill and garlic are the flavorings traditionally used to make sour pickles. Sweet pickles are not sour at all. Bread and butter pickles are a popular kind of sweet pickle flavored with onion.

Dill pickles are flavored mostly with dill and are sour. Garlic pickles are flavored mostly with garlic and are a little spicier. Many pickles are flavored with both garlic and dill. These include kosher, German, Polish (Ogórki kiszone) and deli pickles. Ogórki kiszone are a spicy kind of dill flavored with garlic and pepper. Deli pickles are also spicy.

Based on how they are sliced (or not sliced) there are whole pickles, halves, spears (sliced lengthwise into wedges), sandwich slices or 'stackers' (sliced lengthwise into thin strips), slices or chips (sliced crosswise), and chunks.

Pickles are also classified according to size as baby, midget, gherkin, and regular.

A gherkin is not only a pickle of a certain size but also a particular species of cucumber: the West Indian or Burr cucumber (Cucumis anguria), which produces a somewhat smaller fruit than the garden cucumber (Cucumis sativus). Some pickles are made from the West Indian cucumber, but most pickles, even some called gherkins, are made from the garden cucumber.

All information on this page gathered from Wikipedia.