“ Brand: Kuhne / Type: Pickles „
I have to confess here & now that I love a good gherkin & have tried many different varieties over the years.
I've found some jars at 50p (in the local pound shop) & have paid as much as £3 for others but now I think I've found the perfect ones for me at Tesco for £1.67.
Gherkins seem to come in 2 basic types - either sweet or rather bitter - but these Kuhne American ones have, in my opinion, the perfect taste because although they have some sweetness the spices add a little tartness which is a great combination.
The net weight of the jar is 970g whilst the drained weight is 530g & I normally find there are 7 good sized gherkins although I wouldn't call the 'giant' which is how they're described - just bigger than the ones you usually find.
The ingredients include the following -
- gherkins, salt. mustard seed, spirit vinegar, spices & sugar.
There are also small pieces of red pepper & onion (although these aren't listed).
The nutritional values aren't included but I'm sure they are low in fat & calories & must contain fibre? There are no artificial ingredients & are suitable for vegetarians.
I use gherkins in several ways as the whole family likes them.
- chopped or sliced to add to beef burgers, vegggi burgers etc.
- sliced lengthways to add interest to salads.
- eaten whole straight from the jar!
- adding finely chopped to home-made potato salad or with cooked cold fish with mayonnaise.
I find the juice is very useful & it keeps well if stored in the fridge. I use it to help form the basis of a tasty salad dressing or adding to a little to the mayonnaise when making potato salad. It's lovely when poured over sliced beef tomatoes & chives - just leave in the fridge to marinade for a few hours - delicious.
I'm not sure why these are so heavily promoted as being 'American' - although lovely I couldn't tell the difference between these & large gherkins from other countries?
The only thing I don't like about this product is opening the wretched jar. My hands aren't big enough to hold the lid & the lip is very thick.
BUT - I have a tip - if you have any jar that doesn't open just bang it on a carpeted floor 3 times in succession & then it will open. Don't ask me how this works but it does!
- I've only been able to find these at Tesco.
- yummy flavour - ideal combination of spices.
- good size.
- good texture as most are very firm.
- versatile to use.
- healthy & add interest to otherwise bland dishes.
- lid hard to get off.
- jar can be used afterwards or re-cycled.
- defintitely worth a try if you're a gherkin-lover like me.
It was McDonalds (the house of the devil) that started off my love affair with the gherkin. Affectionately known as "greenies" these were the things that were removed from all my mates' burgers and passed over to me to devour. I absolutely loved them and could not get enough.
I stopped eating at McDonalds a few years ago and my taste for gherkins subsided until I met my other half. Whilst she does not eat them her parents do and whilst eating round their house one evening I stumbled across the "greenie" and the rest, as they say, is history.
I have sampled loads of different types of gherkins and have now identified the perfect type. These are the Khune American Giant Gherkins that, to my knowledge, are only available from Tesco.
These gherkins come in a large see through jar with a blue label, detailing an American flag and all the relevant information, stuck on the outside.
Whilst the label is attractive it is not that eye catching or made out of bright vivid colours to catch the eye of potential customers and encourage impulse buying. This is a product that you will specifically look for.
It is good to buy a product whereby the packaging can be used for a multiple of uses instead of being recycled or put in landfill and I think that producers of other food items should adopt the same thing.
****In the jar****
The net weight of the jar is 970g although a lot of this is the pickling vinegar, spices and other 'stuff'. The drained weight is 530g.
In my experience a typical jar will contain a minimum of 6 large gherkins, although some jars contain a 7th smaller gherkin. Based on a jar of 6 gherkins, each gherkin weighs approximately 88g so they are quite large.
The gherkins are around 10 cm long and around 3 cm circumference, therefore they are plenty large enough to provide decent sized round slices for salads and burgers, although I prefer to eat them straight out of the jar and on their own.
There are also pieces of pepper and small onions in the jar that can be eaten once the gherkins have gone.
****Opening the jar****
Unfortunately opening the jar is not a case of simply twisting and pulling the lid, it is a lot more difficult than that. Due to the size of the jar and the air lock created the jars are always a mission to get in to, even using that 'sticky' fabric or rubber pads for better grip.
I have found that if you get a teaspoon and place under the lip of the lid and bend it away from the jar until there is a 'hiss' sound as the air is released the lid is much easier to get off.
It should be noted that the above method leaves a gap whereby the air can get in to the jar hence reducing the life of the product. If you eat the gherkins within a few weeks you will not have a problem. This is not an issue for me as I am lucky if the gherkins last more than a week.
Once the jar is open there is a really sweet, vinegary smell, which is pretty much expected. You can also smell the red pepper and onion.
The smell is very pleasant and not over powering at all and the smell of the ingredients compliments each other perfectly.
Whilst the jar states that these gherkins are "hot spicy" with a "real American taste" I think this is very misleading.
Firstly, these gherkins are not hot or spicy at all. They are very sweet (which is why I like them so much) and they taste fantastic. Even my father, who does not like spicy food of any kind, will eat these.
As for the "real American taste" I can't comment on this. What does "real American" taste like? I can't say that I have ever experienced it so I have nothing to compare it to, although if these gherkins do live up to the claims on the label then I must say that I like the "real American taste" very much.
The pickling spices are so fragrant and tasty, and the gherkins soak up the flavour so well that you can't taste the gherkin at all. But this is the whole point of pickling as the vegetable is meant to provide substance and absorb the taste of the pickling spice.
I find that large gherkins can have a really soft centre. In some instances this can be almost sloppy. Small gherkins tend not to have the same problem and they remain firm, perhaps a bit too firm for my liking.
These gherkins are on the brink of the size where the gherkins go sloppy and they can be a bit hit or miss. Some are a bit soft but in 75% of instances most of them are of a really nice consistency.
For those gherkins that are a bit sloppy I find that slicing them up and leaving them in the air for a few minutes will firm them up without too mush of the taste disappearing.
The jar states that the ingredients are gherkin, spirit vinegar, sugar, salt, spices, mustard seed and natural flavours.
It makes no mention of the fennel, red pepper and onion, so I can only assume that these are covered by the "natural flavours".
The jar does not specify what spices are used, which is a shame because I would like to replicate the taste of the pickling vinegar.
The label does not give any indication of the calorific content, sugars, salt, carbohydrates, fat or saturates. Whilst it is useful to know exactly what you're eating I assume that these gherkins are not that bad for you. At least I hope not given the amount I eat.
A jar of these gherkins costs £1.67. I have never seen this product on offer, or on a "BOGOF" or buy 2 for £x or any other special promotion.
I have never seen these for sale at any other place other than Tesco.
****Re-using the pickling spice****
I have tried producing my own pickling spice but can't get the taste anywhere near that of this product so I had the idea of re-using the pickling spice for my own home-grown gherkins.
This did not work and I would highly recommend that this is not done. Once I cooked my home-grown gherkins, let them cool down and then put them in the pickling spice I noticed that the liquid went cloudy within a few hours and started smelling of alcohol within a day. Something started fermenting and the gherkins tasted really strong.
I have since learnt not to bother growing my own gherkins (it costs more than buying them and the effort isn't worth it - I did not get more pleasure out of eating something I had grown myself rather than shop bought) and just get these from the supermarket instead.
If you like gherkins, I appreciate they are an acquired taste, then I would definitely recommend these gherkins. They taste really sweet and not at all spicy, exactly how a gherkin should be in my opinion. An added bonus is that there are small onions and bits of red pepper that can be eaten once the gherkins have gone and these have picked up the gorgeous tasting pickling spice.
The gherkins are large and it is possible to get some decent sized round slices from them that can be used in salads or burgers. This means you only need two or three slices as opposed to about the ten slices you would need from smaller gherkins.
The gherkins can sometimes be a bit soft in the middle, a problem which seems to affect a lot of large gherkins, but this is easily solved by slicing them up and leaving the slices in the air for a few minutes. This doe not affect the way they taste in any way.
The only gripe I have is that there are not enough in the jar. Some people like to 'pick' at chocolate whereas I like to 'pick' at gherkins, and since there are only 6 in the jar and you can't bite a bit off and put the rest back in the jar, they don't tend to last too long.