On Thursday, I took the girls in my office out to lunch to celebrate one of their birthdays. We had lunch at a nice Italian restaurant and for a starter, we had an order of fried courgettes (aka zucchini as it is known in the US). As we were eating the appetizer, I made a comment that in America, there is a restaurant serving fried pickle chips which sound terrible, but are really delicious.
"Pickles" they both said? I responded - "yes, dill pickle chips"
More quizzical looks.
So, I proceeded to explain the pickle slices or chips in greater detail so they knew what I was talking about..."Ah, you mean gherkins" one said. Right. "Gherkins, yes" I said, "But not the little cocktail type gherkin - more along the lines of a big gherkin that has been sliced. Think of a cucumber slice but a bit smaller."
One said they would call those sliced gherkins here in England. Not pickles. I don't think they thought I believed them, so they summoned our waitress over to our table to ask her if she would ask for pickles or gherkins on her burger at McDonald's. The waitress responded with "gherkin."
I had a glimmer of hope after this lunch thinking that maybe I have not been able to find dill pickle slices over here because I was maybe looking for the wrong item on the store shelves. (I enjoy pickles a fair amount so I have even gone so far as to bring back glass jars of dill pickles in my suitcase from the US - a potentially dangerous situation should the glass jar crack inside my suitcase.....)
So, the next day I went to my local Sainsbury's in hopes of finding dill gherkins (or dill pickles as I know them!) and here is what I found:
Our local Sainsbury's has a PICKLE aisle. Why on earth have they labeled it with a pickle heading if in fact they are called gherkins here?
One jar of sweet cucumber slices....no dill there.
Crinkle cut gherkins. Again, why is it the pickle aisle if these are called gherkins? I need to revisit this product - there might be hope in finding a good dill pickle slice here although the description of "select herbs and spices" is not too promising.
Cocktail Gherkins. We have these in the US - closest item I've tasted to a dill pickle over here but not conducive to slicing for pickles on a sandwich. I would call these baby gherkins in the US - put them out on a party platter for people to eat. I would not consider putting them on my sandwich in their baby size....