Is there a difference between pickles and cucumbers?

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The primary distinction between pickles and cucumbers is that cucumbers are vegetables (or, more precisely, fruits) that are often served raw on salads and sandwiches, while pickles are cucumbers that have been processed or fermented with brine or vinegar to become pickles.

To provide a more complete solution to the pickles versus cucumbers issue, we must first define cucumbers before discussing how they are processed to become pickles.

Along with this, I discuss whether cucumbers are a fruit or a vegetable, what the distinctions are between baby pickles and gherkins, and why pickles may carry more of a nutritional punch than cucumbers!

Is the Cucumber A Vegetable or A Fruit?

Cucumbers are members of the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes squash, zucchini, pumpkin, and melons, and the plants in this family are vined ground crawling plants. Cucumbers with internal seed stashes grow after cucumber plants have bloomed. Cucumbers are botanically classified as a fruit rather than a vegetable since they originate from a plant’s bloom and contain seeds.

Cucumbers, on the other hand, are often regarded to as a vegetable in the culinary world, owing to how we cook and eat them.

Cucumbers are often plucked before they reach their maximum length of 2 feet on the vine. While there are many different types of edible cucumbers in a variety of hues, they are traditionally divided into two categories: slicing cucumbers and pickled cucumbers. Wild cucumbers are not considered edible cucumbers.

Slicing cucumbers, such as garden cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), are produced for fresh consumption and have thicker skins and bigger sizes than pickled cucumber species bred for pickling.

Why Are Some Cucumbers Called Burpless Cucumbers?

Burpless cucumbers produce less gas after eating. Cucurbitacin, an organic molecule present in cucumbers that also gives cucumbers their occasionally bitter flavor, causes gassiness.

Cucumbers naturally get more sour and bitter as levels of cucurbitacin rise. To keep cucurbitacin levels low, slicing cucumbers are often picked and marketed while slightly underripe.

While the larger quantities of cucurbitacin are found in the plants’ leaves, roots, and stems, some finds its way into the cucumber itself, producing gassiness after eating. If you are prone to gassiness from cucumber, there are a few things you can do while cooking cucumber to reduce the gas.

Cucurbitacin tends to accumulate at the stem end of the cucumber, so trim at least half an inch from this end, and because the peel and the lighter green part just under the skin is also a source of cucurbitacin, if you slice the peel away from the flesh, you should be able to enjoy the cucumber flesh without experiencing as much gas.

English cucumbers are often referred as as burpless slicing cucumbers. Not only do they have thinner skins, but they also taste sweeter than other cucumber kinds. To preserve cucumbers at their best, store them in a cool spot or in a permeable bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, away from apples, avocados, bananas, and tomatoes. Fresh cucumbers may be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, although they are best consumed within a couple of days.

When Did Cucumbers Become Pickles?

Pickles, or pickled cucumbers to give them their full name, are cucumbers pickled in brine, vinegar, or any other solution.

In principle, any edible cucumber (even slicing cucumbers) may be pickled, although thicker, shorter, irregularly shaped cucumbers with bumpier skins are commonly chosen for pickling.

Pickle is derived from pikel, an Old English term that means a hot gravy or sauce given with meat, as well as pekel, a Middle Dutch word that means spiced brine. Pickling is one of the oldest methods of preserving food, dating back roughly 5,000 years.

What is The Difference Between Cucumbers Pickled in Vinegar and Brine?

Refrigerator pickles are cucumbers pickled in vinegar, and pickling as a procedure creates crispy pickles rapidly. Brined pickles, on the other hand, are cucumbers that have been fermented in salt and water solely and have a sour flavor. Naturally occurring bacteria absorb the sugar (or additional sugar) from the cucumber (or other vegetable or fruit being pickled) during the fermentation process, allowing it to gently ferment until it becomes sour pickles.

The fermenting process also causes the nutritional content of the pickles to vary and, as we shall see later, in some circumstances improve when compared to cucumbers.

Cucumbers are seasoned with dill seeds and other ingredients such as garlic in dill pickles. Kosher dill pickles come in completely fermented or full-sour varieties, as well as crisper and brighter-colored half-sour varieties.

Certain pickles, such as overnight dill pickles or cukes, are produced using a vinegar and brine mixture. These pickles, which are often available at delis, are produced from cucumbers that have been covered in vinegar and then immersed in brine overnight or for up to two days.

Sweet pickles have sugar added to them and may also include additional flavorings like mustard seeds or cinnamon. Bread and butter pickles are arguably the most popular of the sweet pickles since they are not only delicious on sandwiches and burgers, but they also create a terrific sweet and sour dip.

While making bread and butter pickles, cucumbers are combined with vinegar, sugar, salt, celery seeds, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds, and then some sweet sliced onions are added, giving bread and butter pickles the ability to strike a balance between salty and sweet.

If you’ve ever wondered why they’re called bread and butter pickles, you’re not alone! There are two probable roots for the term. The first is an Illinois couple who acquired a trademark for their family pickles in 1923 and had a deal with their local grocer to swap their pickles for goods, including bread and butter! The second possible derivation of the term is that it was coined during the Great Depression because, unlike many other dishes at the time, they were a cheap filler to eat between two pieces of buttered bread!

What is The Difference Between Baby Pickles, Cornichons and Gherkins?

Pickles created from baby cucumbers are known as baby pickles, while cornichon is the French term for pickles. Cornichons are around 1 inch long and have a strong taste. They are also known as gherkins, although gherkins are a distinct variety of cucumber than actual cornichons. Gherkins are pickled cucumbers that are gathered while they are young. Gherkins, which are native to North America and may be eaten raw or cooked, have a robust taste.

Are Pickles More Nutritious Than Cucumbers?

Cucumbers and pickles are both low calorie in terms of total nutrients. A cup of sliced cucumber has 16 calories, whereas a cup of dill pickles has 19 calories. If the pickles are sweet, the additional sugar raises the calorie level to roughly 139 calories per single cup serving.

Pickles have more fiber than sliced cucumber, with a cup of dill pickles delivering 1.7 grams vs 0.5 grams per cup of cucumber. Pickles are also a greater source of vitamin K than cucumbers, possessing more than three times the amount. Pickles are also higher in vitamin A.

Most of the nutritional difference between cucumbers and pickles is due to fermentation. The bacteria engaged in the fermentation process provide extra nutritional value and function as pro-bacteria in our gut. This indicates that eating fermented pickles may benefit in the treatment of chronic digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease as well as general digestion. Pickles have also been linked to a lower incidence of yeast infections in other studies.

Cucumbers are naturally low in sodium, however a cup portion of dill pickles provides 59% of our daily sodium limit, therefore people on low sodium diets or with cardiovascular or blood pressure issues should avoid eating pickles too often.

Since pickle juice contains salt as well as electrolytes, some people believe that drinking a little pickle juice after exercise or while suffering from cramps may be beneficial. It should be emphasized that any of these advantages, or benefits for gut health, are only achievable if the pickles are fermented, so check the labels carefully if you’re switching pickles.

Pickles vs Cucumbers – A Summary

In this essay, I demonstrated that the primary distinction between pickles and cucumbers is that pickles are processed or fermented cucumbers, while cucumbers are a raw vegetable. Cucumbers are a fruit, yet they are handled as a vegetable in the kitchen.

While pickles may be heavy in salt and sugar if sweetened, they form a pleasant condiment on many dishes and, if fermented, they may assist promote intestinal health.

I hope you liked reading about pickles versus cucumbers and got answers to some of the questions you may have had but were hesitant to ask. Please feel free to share this information with your friends, and please make any comments about cucumbers or pickles in the section below.


Is a cucumber and pickle the same thing?

Cucumbers are Pickles.

Cucumbers grow on vines or in bushes. They like warmer weather and plenty of water! Pickling cucumbers such as Kirby or Persian cucumbers are popular. They are rinsed and then immersed in a pickling solution composed of water, salt, spices, and vinegar after being plucked.

Are pickles just cucumbers but with vinegar?

Pickles are a term used in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. It’s a cucumber pickled with vinegar or brine. It may also be fermented with additional solutions for a different flavor and diversity. Pickles are made in a variety of styles all around the world.

Why can I eat pickles but not cucumbers?

Cucumbers contain a substance called “cucurbitacins,” to which you seem to be allergic. A sensitivity to this usually causes stomach distress, flatulence, and nausea. The pickling procedure, as bigollurch said, eliminates this chemical.

Can you use any cucumber for pickles?

Pickling cucumbers or Kirby cucumbers work best, although any cucumber may be pickled. Its skin is rough and spiky, and their colors vary from light yellow to dark green. Burpless cucumbers are the sweetest variety. They have thin skins, are simpler to digest, and contain almost no seeds.

Are McDonald’s pickles cucumbers?

Cucumbers are acquired from Spain and Holland, depending on the season, while the cucumbers used to manufacture our dill pickles are mostly from Turkey.

How long does it take for a cucumber to turn into a pickle?

Cucumbers fermented in a crock may be used to make authentic dill pickles. Genuine dill pickles require 3 to 4 weeks to ferment at 70°F. Bacteria generate lactic acid during the fermentation process, which preserves the cucumbers and provides the distinctive color and texture of authentic dills.

What are pickles without vinegar called?

Sour pickles are fermented in a brine of water and pickling salt without the use of vinegar. If consumed before 6 weeks, they are referred to as “half-sour.” They’re regarded entirely sour after that. Related: Helped!

Is soaking cucumbers in vinegar to make pickles a chemical change?

Here’s what you should keep in mind: Pickling involves soaking foods in an acidic liquid to obtain a sour taste; when foods are fermented, the sour flavor is produced by a chemical reaction between the sugars in the food and naturally occurring bacteria — no additional acid is necessary.

Why do I feel sick after eating cucumbers?

Cucumbers, as previously stated, contain an ingredient known as cucurbitacin. This element may cause indigestion in certain individuals, particularly those with delicate digestive systems. Indigestion causes bloating and gas, which your body attempts to expel via burps and farts.

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