What Is A Cornichon?

Jun 5, 2013 12:31 pm

About that tiny French pickle we pop like candy

what is a cornichon?
Photo frangrit on Flickr
Cornichons in a barrel at a specialty market.
 

If you're at all a fan of pickles, we can only hope you've discovered the cornichon. These miniscule sour French pickles are: 1. adorable; 2. absolutely delicious; and 3. very useful. 

Cornichons are made with mini gherkin cucumbers, one to two inches in length and harvested before reaching full maturity for an extra-tart bite. When choosing a crunchy, acidic bite to balance out cheese, pâté or cured meats, you can't lose with these — anything with ham and Gruyère welcomes cornichons with open arms. Spear one on a toothpick for the perfect slider garnish. Chopped finely, they're a key component to authentic steak tartare and make a spectacular tartar sauce for fried seafood.

Related: How To Make A French Charcuterie Platter

In the U.S., French brand Maille is a reliable bet, with its nifty built-in pickle-lifter. Most supermarkets carry cornichons. Look in the pickle aisle or the olive bar at specialty and gourmet markets. 

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