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On a good number of the trips that I make to Montreal, I visit L'Express (Yelp, if you are into that kind of thing), a wonderful (IMO) bistro there. Outside of the food, one of the truly wonderful things they have there are their inhouse cornichons, served with every meal, which are truly wonderful. They hae just the right level of 'sour', and crunch, and everything.

Cornichon.jpg

We keep buying a bottle or two when we are there. I figure these can't be too tough to make. Anyone have a really great recipe?

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Where do you buy gherkins (baby cucumbers)?

That's the primary obstacle to me making my own cornichons. Every restaurant in town buys them, and the ones available at the store are pretty good.

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One of the local produce growers lets me pick my own from his pickle patch. You are really taking a possible larger pickle but then the other small pickels get the water from the plant so I don't really think you are lessoning the crop. In any even it takes a LOT of small ones to make a couple of quarts of cornichons. Its a labor of love. Pepin has a good recipe in one of his books that I use.

BTW some French suppliers are having the cornichons produced some where other than France, you must look for the definitive 'Made in France' these days to assure the products origin.-Dick

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  • 5 years later...

This is late - but I look at old posts for answers so...  You don't need French varieties - any pickling cuke will work, just use the very smallest of these.  I have grown the French (Paris Pickling) cultivar, which is the most common 'cornichon' type, and it is really similar to other cultivars of pickling cukes.  I just bought some at the local farmers market, and picked out very small (for cornichon) and larger (for 'Kosher Dills").  In addition cornichon (little horn) just means pickle - so some are not the type you might expect.  Unless you want sweet or dill types (even French brands), look in the ingredients, which should not have sugar, and should contain tarragon for the type mentioned here.

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