The pickle

The pickle

The Huxtaburger Book
Chris Middleton

Pickles are an essential part of a burger, in my view, as they help to balance out the rich fattiness of the beef. Not only excellent sliced inside a burger, they are also fantastic served whole on the side.

The word ‘pickle’ comes from the Dutch word pekel, which means ‘brine’. Although pickles can be made from just about any vegetable or fruit, traditionally, they are small cucumbers which are brined and/or fermented, effectively as a means of preserving fresh cucumbers to last throughout the year. Just about every cuisine has their own version, and they are especially popular in Eastern Europe.

Some common modern preparations of pickles are battered and deep-fried pickles, as well as the ‘pickleback’ – a shot of Irish whiskey followed by a shot of pickle brine.

While you can buy excellent pickles, it is easy enough to make your own, and they’ll keep for several months.

–Dill (kosher) pickles: This is the most common type of pickle associated with burgers. Sour and crunchy, they are a New York–Jewish style of pickle that usually has a generous amount of fresh dill and garlic added to the brine. These pickles have been made in Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Germany for hundreds of years.

–Gherkins: These are made from a specific type of cucumber, known as the burr gherkin or West Indian gherkin. They are slightly smaller than regular pickled cucumbers and often a little sweeter. The term ‘gherkin’ has become a common name for smaller pickles that may not necessarily be made from actual burr gherkins.

–Cornichons: These are the tiny French gherkins, which are pickled in wine vinegar and tarragon. They are quite tart and commonly served with terrines and pâtés.

–Brined pickles: These are naturally fermented pickles without the addition of vinegar. The lactobacillus bacteria naturally found on the skin of the cucumber is responsible for kicking off the lacto-fermentation, which turns the cucumber sour. The cucumbers are placed in a 2–4% salt brine and left to ferment.


Quantity Ingredient
Cucumber & shallot pickle


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