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Pickled cucumbers are an indispensable product, it is just an appetizer and an element of the salad. And in Suzdal there is even the Day of the Cucumber.
For those who are far from growing this vegetable on their own in the country with subsequent home canning, shops come to the rescue, where there is a wide selection of pickled cucumbers. Good housewives and gourmets have long known that the smallest of them are the tastiest.
About 20 years ago, the word gherkin appeared in our everyday life, which means just a variety of such miniature cucumbers.
Gherkin is called small-fruited varieties of cucumber, which are removed until fully ripe. Usually the length of such fruits is 4 to 8 centimeters. The main use of gherkins is canning and pickling.
However, this product was quickly overgrown with myths - they told how it was transported in a special solution from distant India, then soaked to give it a fresh look.
A savory crunch is achieved using an unsafe chemical solution. So what is truth and what is fiction in the pickled cucumber case?
Domestic gherkins are good, while imported ones are bad. Cucumbers are considered to be gherkins no longer than 6 cm. And they are practically not grown in Russia. So all the miniature cucumbers offered in the marinade were grown somewhere abroad. Perhaps, in Russia they were only mothballed, so it will be extremely difficult to find a completely domestic product.
All foreign gherkins are old. According to this myth, it is our manufacturer who can offer fresh cucumbers. However, representatives of the main distributors of these products say that if the countries of origin China or India are indicated on the bank, this means the highest level of quality and compliance with ISO standards. Local gherkins go straight from the garden to local production, where they are pickled. But if the bank indicates that it is produced in Russia, then most likely the gherkins are taken to production in barrels, and after that they are reminished. And to write off the fact that such products are manufactured abroad will no longer work, since they simply will not receive a quality certificate. Now they are increasingly starting to use the "manufacturer's declaration of quality", but the essence remains the same - the domestic manufacturer is obliged to notify the buyer about the place of manufacture of the goods.
There simply cannot be good cucumbers in India. Many people wonder where in India such a product so dear to us can appear? Nevertheless, it is this country that is the world leader in the production of both cucumbers and gherkins. Their consumers include not only Russia, but also half the world in general. Indian gherkins are eaten both in America and in Europe, which place high demands on the quality of food.
If the product contains calcium chloride, then this is very bad. Calcium chloride is called the calcium salt of hydrochloric acid, or the food additive E509. It is widely used in food production, including cottage cheese and cheese. And in refrigerators, calcium chloride is also used, only in the form of a refrigerant. In pharmacies, you can also find this substance, it is antiallergic, it is prescribed to pregnant women and children when they lack calcium. In a jar of gherkins, E509 contains extremely little, even eating a jar of pickled cucumbers daily, the amount of sodium chloride consumed will be less than the child's daily dose, which he takes as prescribed by the doctor.
The jar and imported gherkins must have inscriptions in a foreign language, otherwise it is clear that the cucumbers are of poor quality and are processed twice. Suppliers explain that Indian and Chinese factories producing gherkins for the Russian market use a label layout provided to them from Russia, and accordingly, the logo on the lid also has native letters. This practice is accepted all over the world. The computer also puts the date of manufacture of pickles, which is printed on the edge of the lid or on the jar itself. The shelf life of such a product is usually 3 years.
Fresh pickled cucumbers can be distinguished from pickled cucumbers by ordinary people only by their price. First of all, it should be said that the price of domestic and imported cucumbers is practically the same. But if cucumbers are pickled in Western Europe, then the price of gherkins may increase. Paradoxically, in this case, the more expensive product will be of lower quality, besides, the color and quality of the European product are absolutely not unique. Do not be afraid that double-pickled cucumbers will quickly lose their color. It happens that after 3-6 months of being on a store shelf under daylight, cucumbers lose their color, changing from green to whitish and marshy. This is not scary, but the clouding of the brine and the change in the shape of the gherkins should already make you alert. A sign that the cucumbers were packaged at a domestic plant is also the umbrella of dill, which may be present in the bank. It is this spice that is used in our home canning, while in foreign production it is rather difficult to procure it in industrial quantities. So dill seeds or just its greens are used in banks with imported gherkins.
There are many different gherkin manufacturers offering a wide range of products. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to find the best manufacturer. In our country, it is quite customary to produce canned vegetables under different brands at the same plant - this allows us to load production capacities. So the color of the lid and the logo on it is a purely technical challenge. There are not so many real manufacturers, so, having found a favorite taste, get this brand and do not chase new products in the hope of something more perfect.
All pickled gherkins have the same taste. The jars may contain varying amounts of sugar, salt, vinegar and spices, which will affect the final taste. If there is more vinegar than usual, then the cucumbers will be sour, with the addition of sugar they will become spicy-sweet. If the acidity is low, you can add more salt, then the gherkins will taste similar to pickles, and their color will resemble mustard or khaki. You can check the taste by looking at the carbohydrate content label. So, if there are 2 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams of a product, then there is not enough sugar, 3-4 grams is a common indicator, and 5 grams is already above average.
Imported gherkins are transgenic. This myth is easy to debunk - as long as cucumbers have not been genetically modified at all.
It is better not to eat pickled cucumbers last year. The mistake lies in the comparison of home and industrial conservation. It has already been noted that gherkins, like other canned vegetables, can be stored for 3 years. If the recipe contains little vinegar, then this period is reduced to two years. It is these figures that must be looked for at the bank and the date of issue must be correlated with the current one. In general, gherkins are a hot commodity, flying off the counter not even in months, but in days and weeks.