5 Things You Didn’t Know About Gherkins

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Gherkins

Gherkins are cucumbers that have been pickled in brine, vinegar, or other pickling solutions and left to ferment for long periods of time. Spices can also be added to give different tastes. You can purchase gherkins in most shops in South Africa and at Anat we have them available to our customers. Their delicious sweet-and-sour taste adds something special to our dishes and even by themselves, gherkins make a nice snack.


Here are 5 interesting facts that you didn’t know about gherkins:


  • Gherkins have been around since ancient times; however there is some disagreement as to when they were first eaten. Some people believe the first gherkin was created in Mesopotamia in 2400 B.C. while others believe it was as early as 2030 B.C.


  • Cleopatra ate many gherkins because she believed they were one of the things that helped her stay beautiful. While gherkins are good for you and are packed with vitamins that we need, there is nothing to show that they have an impact on our appearance.


  • Gherkins originated from West Africa and were then introduced to the West Indies by the Portuguese, before reaching Europe. Gherkins have historically been called horned cucumbers, crumplings and guerkins.


  • In his famous voyage in 1492, Christopher Columbus rationed gherkins to his sailors to keep them from getting scurvy. He even grew cucumbers during a pit stop in Haiti to restock for the rest of the voyage.


  • Gherkins are mentioned in The Epic of Gilgamesh, the world’s oldest known piece of literature, written by the Sumerians around 4000 B.C.

While we may think of these green pickles as simply gherkins, they have been around for centuries and are pickled in the same way today as they were all those years ago. It is remarkable to think of the impact gherkins had on many lives throughout their time. If they are good enough for Cleopatra and Christopher Columbus, they are certainly good enough for us!