When you eat burgers or salads, you can find two commonly used foods. Pickles and cucumbers. Are pickles cucumbers often asked because they look the same, yet have a different taste and texture, even if one is pickled?
Pickled cucumbers have been around for years as they have been an effective way of storing them. The cucumbers are preserved by submersion in salt brine or vinegar. While these are very similar, there are differences in the taste and how long they will last.
In our guide, you can learn more about the differences between pickles and cucumbers and pickled pickles. By the end, you’ll know more about which other fruits or vegetables can be used in the same pickling process.
You’ll also see that eating cucumber doesn’t always have to be fresh cucumbers when you can take your garden cucumbers and use the same methods to preserve them. (Read Why Are My Cucumbers White)
Are Cucumbers Vegetables or Fruits?
You may not believe it, but a cucumber plant belongs to the same gourd family as melons, pumpkins, and zucchini. Besides this, they all grow on vines and are considered fruits, even if we consider them vegetables. Like other fruits, cucumbers are packed full of seeds that can be used to grow more young cucumbers.
What Cucumber is Used To Make Pickles?
The ideal vegetable for weight loss, cucumbers are low in calories and make for crunchy salad ingredients. Cucumbers come in different types depending on where they are grown, so choose them carefully.
The two most common varieties of cultivating cucumbers are;
1. Slicing Cucumbers:
These are bigger, meaty meat slices that are ideal for eating fresh.
2. Pickling Cucumbers:
Compared to slicing cucumbers, they have thicker skin, taste crisper, and are smaller.
There are several varieties of pickling cucumbers:
- Boston Pickling: Boston seedless cucumbers make great pickles. The plant’s fast growth and high yield are its key selling points.
- Boothby’s Blond: This creamy, off-white fruit belongs to Maines Livermore’s Boothby family. Even at 7 inches long, they stay fresh without peeling. Four-inch Boothby cucumbers are sweet and crisp when ready.
- The Bush Pickle: Smooth-skinned, tasty fruits on 3 to 5-inch compact vines. This is an excellent choice for growing pickled cucumbers at home.
other varieties often used for pickling are Persian cucumbers and burpless cucumbers, as these are less bitter than some.
Difference Between Pickles and Cucumbers
Cucumbers and pickles are similar. Both varieties have similar nutrients, calories, and health benefits; however, sugar or spices can affect calories in pickled cucumbers. Cucumber has 16 calories and 19% Vitamin K per cup, whereas Vitamin K and calories are lower in pickled cucumbers. However, when growing, both like hot temperatures and lots of water.
Eating cucumbers delivers many health benefits.
- They include a wide variety of beneficial antioxidants that aid in disease prevention.
- The high water content keeps your body hydrated, satisfied, and rejuvenated.
- They are a low-calorie, high-water snack suitable for most diets and may aid in weight loss.
What is Pickling?
One of the most popular methods of food preservation is pickling. The process is preserving food for months by keeping it in a liquid, typically vinegar or salt brine.
What Can You Pickle?
The most popular foods for pickling are vegetables. Fish, fruits, green beans, pickled onions, and pickled eggs are among the others commonly pickled.
Cucumbers are the food that is pickled most frequently. The size and type of cucumbers used can affect the names given to pickled cucumbers. You’ll frequently encounter names like cornichons, Kosher dill pickles, and others. (Read Are Cucumbers Melons)
How Do You Make Pickles?
Fermenting and salting are common processes where fresh cucumbers cut into slices are drained and put into jars with vinegar, spices, and occasionally sugar. The time to produce pickles depends on the type of cucumbers you use. Cucumbers with longer seasoning, like English cucumbers, pickle quicker than slicers.
In many areas, you’ll find white vinegar used to make pickles. However, you can get red vinegar and also additions such as herbs like dill, chives, or garlic for flavoring pickles.
How to pickle cucumbers
It can take time and a little effort to make pickles, so here are the steps you need to follow:
- Pick a quality variety of cucumber.
- To remove any dirt or debris, wash them thoroughly.
- Slice cucumbers thinly.
- Immerse them in a solution of a quart of water and a half teaspoon of salt.
- Before draining, allow the cucumbers to sit for at least 30 minutes. Thoroughly drain the cucumbers.
- Rewash them under running water.
- Add the cucumbers to a clean container and cover them with cold water.
- Leave the cucumbers in the container covered overnight.
- Drain any extra liquid by removing the cucumbers from the container.
- Place the cucumbers in a different, clean container and cover them with distilled vinegar.
- Add one tablespoon of mustard seeds, two tablespoons of celery seeds, and one-fourth of a teaspoon of black pepper.
- Put the mixture in the jar of cucumbers.
- Put your jar in a dark place and secure the lid. After around 4 days, you can store the pickles in the fridge.
Can All Cucumbers Be Pickled?
All cucumbers can be used for slicing and pickling, although some types are better than others. Only slice or consume as is, taste and crispiness. It shouldn’t be soft or have broken skin. Pickled English cucumbers are popular as they are firm and don’t spoil quickly.
To preserve cucumber flavor, choose the proper type, such as don’t use slicing cucumbers as these are better eaten in salads and not for pickling. (Read Why Are My Cucumbers Yellow And Fat)
How To Keep Pickles Fresh?
Within a couple of days, juicy pickles lose their freshness. You must therefore use them right away. It is recommended to keep them in airtight containers and storing cucumbers or pickles out of the light to avoid mold.
Is A Gherkin A Pickle?
The Dutch word “gurken,” which refers to a tiny, pickled cucumber, originates whence the English word for baby pickles is called gherkins. They are also known as baby cucumbers and typically range in length from one to two inches and often have bumpy skin.
There are several sizes of gherkins. While some are thick and rounded, some small cucumbers are narrow and elongated. Gherkins with thin skin are highly perishable. Thick-skinned gherkins can be preserved for years and can be eaten raw.
Using Pickle Juice on Plants?
Pickle juice serves several functions, including tenderizing meat. You can also use this in your garden soil to make it more acidic by changing the pH level.
You can pour pickle vinegar around certain plants, although use vinegar pickle juice in moderation as too much could be harmful.
What Are Brined Pickles
Brined pickles naturally ferment. The process promotes the growth of the Lactobacillus bacteria that the cucumber naturally contains. This causes the cucumber to ferment, giving it a half-sour taste. This process is highly traditional, and it varies based on the process of the world in which it is used.
Typically, the pickles are added to the water along with any additional ingredients and the fermentation agent. The sour flavor of fermented pickles depends on how much salt you add to the water.
Nutrition Of Cucumbers vs. Pickles
Pickling is a fermentation process that causes the most significant nutritional difference between cucumbers and pickles. When pickled, bacteria from the fermentation process give the pickles extra nutrients. Sometimes, pickles’ minerals can help treat long-term illnesses and symptoms.
Pickles are heavy in salt and can contain too much sodium, so sliced cucumbers are the best choice for a low-sodium diet. Like cucumber, pickles are low in calories and lack a lot of nutritional value, although additives, thus making pickles unhealthy in comparison.
The watery taste of cucumbers and pickles is one of their significant distinctions. Cucumbers are eaten fresh, cucumbers, because of their extremely high water content and are well known for their simple but refreshing taste and watery flavor that can make cucumber juice refreshing like a melon.
A sliced sweet pickle will taste significantly different from a dill pickle, or sour pickle,
Frequently Asked Questions
Why can I eat pickles but not cucumbers?
The pickling process alters the constitution of the cucumber by using salt, spices, and vinegar, which makes the answer to this question likely even if pickles begin as cucumbers.
Therefore, although you would assume they are comparable, they are not. (Read Should Cucumbers Be Refrigerated)
What is the difference between cucumbers and pickling cucumbers?
The fundamental distinction between cucumbers and pickling cucumbers is that pickling cucumbers are grown for jarring, and slicing cucumbers are grown to eat raw. Pickling cucumbers are shorter, and stouter have more spines and drier flesh to soak up more vinegar.
While slicing cucumbers are used for fresh eating, they can be used for pickling, yet you may get a milder pickle instead of the crunchy one pickling cucumbers are known for.
Is a pickle a cucumber?
The homemade pickles recipe calls for fresh cucumbers, pickling spice, a jar, and pickle brine to make pickles out of any cucumber. You will receive a tasty, sweet pickle and a sour pickle and eliminate the bitter taste in some cucumbers.
They are the same thing, so they share certain similarities, but fresh cucumbers lack the salty taste (or acidic with vinegar), size, and shelf life of those pickled. They both serve various purposes as well. So, are pickles, and cucumbers? You’ll find they are both.
Cucumbers can make refrigerator pickles (quick pickling). Cucumber types that produce sweet pickles, kosher dill, and fresh dill pickles are used to make pickled cucumber.