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little cucumbers for cornichons


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A Gremolata reader sent me a query about where to find cucumbers small enough to pickle into proper cornichons.

I have to admit I'm stumped for now. Has anyone ever seen these retailed in the GTA?

I thought I would ask around the city's bistros, too. Does anyone know which of the city's French restaurants make their own cornichons?

Malcolm Jolley

Gremolata.com

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A Gremolata reader sent me a query about where to find cucumbers small enough to pickle into proper cornichons.

I have to admit I'm stumped for now. Has anyone ever seen these retailed in the GTA?

I thought I would ask around the city's bistros, too. Does anyone know which of the city's French restaurants make their own cornichons?

I've seen them Malcolm. It depends on the store and their labelling practices but there were some available at my local grocer named "lebanese cucumbers" that were about the size of a baby carrot. I presume pickling them and drawing the water out might get you closer to what you need. Otherwise a farmer's market that sold fresh cucumber might bring you some babies if you asked nicely (or are they from a totally different strain?).

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Does anyone have a recipe. I can try picking some of the little baby cukes off my vine and try pickling them. "The little bitty ones do look like the cornichons in the jar in my fridge.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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A Gremolata reader sent me a query

I've seen them Malcolm. It depends on the store and their labelling practices but there were some available at my local grocer named "lebanese cucumbers" that were about the size of a baby carrot. I presume pickling them and drawing the water out might get you closer to what you need. Otherwise a farmer's market that sold fresh cucumber might bring you some babies if you asked nicely (or are they from a totally different strain?).

CharityCase: Where? But, where? This sounds like a good lead. Again, it's not for me (no, really, I swear) but for a Gremolata reader*. So I have no idea what the pickling process may or not be.

*For the record, I always encourage readers with an ingredient query to post on eG themselves, but I do offer to post for the shy ones and send them the thread URL, so they can visit and check.

Malcolm Jolley

Gremolata.com

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My hypothesis is that they don't exist in the raw state, just like baby corn. They have got to be a manufactured product that comes into the world already in a jar or tin. Because it doesn't make sense any other way.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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My hypothesis is that they don't exist in the raw state, just like baby corn. They have got to be a manufactured product that comes into the world already in a jar or tin. Because it doesn't make sense any other way.

I love these phatuous snides, totally out of nowhere!

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A Gremolata reader sent me a query about where to find cucumbers small enough to pickle into proper cornichons.

I have to admit I'm stumped for now. Has anyone ever seen these retailed in the GTA?

I thought I would ask around the city's bistros, too. Does anyone know which of the city's French restaurants make their own cornichons?

Don't know about GTA, Malcom, but small pickling cukes should be available in Mennonite markets, all over SW Ont., and the next few weeks will be prime harvest time.

My sister in law, from a family of 16, growing up in St. Jacobs, makes a few dozen jars every year, and sells from the London market. Like her parents, she gets the kids to do the picking, as it is tedious and has to be done every day to keep the little cukes from growing bigger.

The Mennonites also grow miniature corn for preserving, and if you can find it, it is a fresher, sweeter product than the jars from the far east.

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Not entirely on-topic, but does anyone have a good recipe for making cornichons? I've got a cucumber plant in the back yard, and I'd like to make my own. I've found lots of pickle recipes, but nothing specifically for cornichons.

Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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Not entirely on-topic, but does anyone have a good recipe for making cornichons? I've got a cucumber plant in the back yard, and I'd like to make my own. I've found lots of pickle recipes, but nothing specifically for cornichons.

I tried a Bernardin pickle mix but didn't like the faux spice taste.

I looked at a number of recipes, and this what I will try next:

Maple Flavoured Pickles, Cecile Gamache, St. Marie.

12 cucumbers 8" (you can adapt this)

50ml pickling or kosher salt

6c white vinegar

1c maple surup

25 ml pickling spice

Wash the cukes well, and remove the flower ends.

Spread on a large baking sheet, lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with coarse salt; leave 3 hrs.

Rinse and pack in jars.

Combine vinegar, maple syrup and pickling spices in a saucepan; boil and simmer, then strain. Pour over the cukes in jars and seal. Store two weeks before using.

I haven't done this yet but when I do I will add chopped garlic and fresh dill to each container. If they are for current use, I'll put them in freezer bags, in the fridge. Sealed jars for long term use.

Hope this helps. Let me know how yours works out...jay

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