cheese and pickle sandwich (gherkin or pickle)

jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
Having made sure he was drip fed coffee, Jim now presented him with a large cheese and pickle sandwich.
Source: Five Bloody Hearts by Joy Ellis

Does cheese and pickle sandwich refer to exhibit a) cheese with pickle slices or exhibit
or exhibit b) cheese with chutney?

Wikipedia seems to suggest the latter.

If both, how would you distinguish?


upload_2019-3-15_3-41-56.jpeg


upload_2019-3-15_3-42-39.jpeg
Z
Thank you.
 

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  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    What Wikipedia article are you looking at?
    The author is British.
    For what it's worth, the second picture shows a substance which I assume is something like "Branston pickle" which is not commonly known in the US. Unless you specify something else, AmE "pickle" is "pickled cucumber" in some form.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thank you.

    here’s the article.

    In BrE, how would you distinguish between the two exhibits with the same name?
    Probably as "cheese and pickle" amd "toasted cheese and sliced gherkin" (possibly "toasted cheese and American pickle?:))
    (The Collins dictionary reflects the US comments above
    pickle /ˈpɪkəl/n
    1. (often plural) vegetables, such as cauliflowers, onions, etc, preserved in vinegar, brine, etc
    2. any food preserved in this way
    3. a liquid or marinade, such as spiced vinegar, for preserving vegetables, meat, fish, etc
    4. chiefly US Canadian a cucumber that has been preserved and flavoured in a pickling solution, such as brine or vinegar
    Enquiring minds will be asking whether the book's plot depends on this fine point of nomenclature difference between AE and BE (cf. jelly :)) I recall a novel (or film) in which the spy gave away his true nationality by the use of the "other" name or pronunciation :D
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Dill pickle is another matter: a dill pickle is a gherkin here, so yes you can have pickle and dill pickle together.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    I confess my mind is reeling. It seems I have been living in another universe (if you believe in string theory). For me, exhibit a) is the cheese and pickle sandwich, and not b).
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    There is a wiki on Branston (brand) - Wikipedia

    It is also frequently combined with cheddar cheese in sandwiches, and many sandwich shops in the UK offer cheese and pickle as an option.[12] It is available in the standard 'chunky' version, as well as a 'small chunk' variety, which is easier to spread onto bread
    I don't think there's much doubt that the author was referring to exhibit b :)
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Prior to my first posting, I checked. There's no cucumber in Branston pickle.
    In AmE, gherkin is a type/size of pickle so you could have a dill pickle and gherkin sandwich.
    In BrE, a gherkin would never be confused with a cucumber. Branston contains gherkins, not cucumbers (which I have not heard of as being pickled). Cucumbers are generally over a foot long (30 cm), and are used in salads, and also go well (sliced) with cheese in sandwiches. The Queen famously (although possibly apocryphally) serves cucumber sandwiches at her garden parties, which rather mollifies my disappointment at never having been invited. Who would want cucumber sandwiches, without cheese?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    There's no cucumber in Branston pickle.
    Oh yes there is!
    I have a jar of the "small chunk" version here. It says: "Ingredients: Vegetables in various proportions (54%) (carrot, onion, rutabaga, cauliflower, marrow, gherkin), sugar, ..."
    The American version must use a different recipe. For one thing, I gather they use high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    In BrE, a gherkin would never be confused with a cucumber. Branston contains gherkins, not cucumbers (which I have not heard of as being pickled).
    Everything can be pickled.

    Which of these listed ingredients is a gherkin?
    Branston Original Pickle | Branston
    Vegetables in Variable Proportions (52%) (Carrot, Rutabaga, Onion, Cauliflower), Sugar, Barley Malt Vinegar, Water, Spirit Vinegar, Tomato Purée, Date Paste (Dates, Rice Flour), Salt, Apple Pulp, Modified Maize Starch, Colour (Sulphite Ammonia Caramel), Onion Powder, Concentrated Lemon Juice, Spices, Colouring Food (Roasted Barley Malt Extract), Herb and Spice Extracts.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The "original" Branston, still imported from England has (accrding to Amazon's page ofeering it for sale)

    Ingredients
    Vegetables in variable proportions (Carrot, Rutabaga, Onion, Cauliflower, Marrow, Gherkin), Sugar, Water, Barley Malt Vinegar (contains: Gluten), Spirit Vinegar, Chopped Dates (Dates, Rice Flour), Salt, Apple (contains Preservative: Sodium Metabisulphite), Modified Maize Starch, Tomato Paste, Colour: Sulphite Ammonia Caramel, Spices, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Onion Powder, Flavourings
    Apparently the US version is different :)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I quoted from the .co .uk site and it doesn't include marrow (zucchini squash?) or Gherkin (???).

    Pickled cucumber - Wikipedia
    A pickled cucumber (commonly known as a pickle in the United States and Canada and a gherkin in Britain, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) is a cucumber that has been pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time, by either immersing the cucumbers in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    That's my point. None of them would ordinarily be called cucumbers in BrE.
    So in BrE, all small cucumbers are called gherkins and not cucumbers. (I seem to recall a thread in which we discovered that there is only one variety of persimmon sold in the UK so you call persimmons the name of that variety.)
     
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    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The "original" Branston, still imported from England has (according to Amazon's page oferring it for sale)
    ..., marrow, gherkin ...
    Apparently the US version is different :)
    Given the info on the .co.uk site noted above, perhaps the takeover by MizkanEuro has altered the recipe even though they claim they still follow the "secret" recipe! But the OP's question (what the author meant by the term) has been answered and we are wandering off-topic:)
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Given the info on the .co.uk site noted above, perhaps the takeover by MizkanEuro has altered the recipe
    I wouldn't have been able to sleep tonight without having resolved the discrepancy between what's on their website and what's on the jar, so I popped into a supermarket on my way home from the theatre, and --sure enough-- the jars now on the shelf no longer have the final two ingredients in the list (that is, they agree with what's on the website). My jar will have been bought about 18 months ago.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    To complicate matters further.

    Food & Drinks, The Latest Food News

    Thanks to its odd appearance and elusive history, the Mexican sour gherkin is always confused with a cucumber or pickled cucumber.

    But we need to say it upfront: The Mexican sour gherkin is NOT a cucumber. Yes, they both belong to the same gourd family “Cucurbitaceae” and the gherkin is often called a “miniature cucumber” but they are from different cultivar groups. Only one species i.e. Cucumis Sativus is considered a cucumber, but the Mexican sour gherkin which is 1-3 inches in size belongs to Melothria, another genus entirely. So it is not an actual cucumber, but an honorary one.

    But it gets confusing because in America, Canada and Australia, the term ‘pickle’ is usually used to refer to pickled cucumbers. So, gherkins are pickles but pickles are not gherkins (just pickled cucumbers)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Not so. The gherkin-sized green gourds that my father grew outdoors were called 'cucumbers'. Maybe that's because they were not billed as suitable for pickling.
    That leads to a definition of "gherkin" that involves "I wouldn't pickle it, but somebody else might." ;)
    So, gherkins are pickles but pickles are not gherkins (just pickled cucumbers)
    In AmE, a gherkin (pickle) is basically a cornichon without the French pedigree (a pickle about the size of my little finger or even smaller). True cornichons (I believe) are generally a sour pickle while a gherkin can be any "flavor" - sweet, sour, dill, bread and butter, ...
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That leads to a definition of "gherkin" that involves "I wouldn't pickle it, but somebody else might." ;)
    Maybe. But it also reflects the Chambers Dictionary's definition of a "gherkin": "A small cucumber used for pickling". We could of course eat such things in their natural, unpickled state. If I read the word "gherkin" in a BrE text, I assume "pickled", and when I use the word myself, I mean a cucumber that has been pickled. Some people say "pickled gherkin", which is either tautologous or an indication that my usage is untypical. :confused::confused:
     
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    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Please note that this post and the following ones have been added to a previous thread discussing the difference (if any) between pickle and gherkins. Please read down from the top. DonnyB - moderator.

    Hi all,

    I learnt that gherkin is BE and pickle is AE, but my question is, do AE speakers understand what gherkin is? And do BE speakers use the word pickle due to American influence, or do they use gherkin exclusively still?

    Many thanks! :)
     
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    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hi.

    I understand what a "gherkin" is. On the few occasions when somebody has had a chance to use "gherkin" in a conversation with me, those people also understood what "gherkin" meant.

    Our use of the term is limited to immature or "baby" cucumbers that have been pickled in brine. You seem to know already that American English-speakers don't use "gherkin" to refer to ordinary pickles.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    For me the gherkin is a particular type of pickle. Pickle on its own could refer to pickled carrots or onions or beans or something else.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    For me the gherkin is a particular type of pickle. Pickle on its own could refer to pickled carrots or onions or beans or something else.
    What you say about "gherkin" is true for me as well, Nat. As for "pickle", I use it by itself exclusively in talk about pickled, mature cucumbers, which seem to be the overwhelming favorite when it comes to vegetables that are used for pickling in the U.S. I would use "pickled carrots/onions/etc." to refer to any other pickled vegetables.
     
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    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think the only reference to "pickle" meaning gherkin I have come across in Britain is "dill pickle", used by one of the large burger chains (I forget which, and it may be all of them). "Pickle" on its own is usually something akin to Branston Pickle (easily the best known variety, but there are lots of similar pickles made by other companies), or occasionally chutney or Piccalilli.

    Pickled onions, pickled beetroot and (in some places) pickled eggs are also very popular in Britain. I would have thought that picked onions were more common than all the others put together, including gherkins, so that it would seem bizarre to single out gherkins for exclusive use of the word "pickle".
     
    I think the only reference to "pickle" meaning gherkin I have come across in Britain is "dill pickle", used by one of the large burger chains (I forget which, and it may be all of them). "Pickle" on its own is usually something akin to Branston Pickle (easily the best known variety, but there are lots of similar pickles made by other companies), or occasionally chutney or Piccalilli.

    Pickled onions, pickled beetroot and (in some places) pickled eggs are also very popular in Britain. I would have thought that picked onions were more common than all the others put together, including gherkins, so that it would seem bizarre to single out gherkins for exclusive use of the word "pickle".
    Great answer, Unc.:thumbsup:
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I think the only reference to "pickle" meaning gherkin I have come across in Britain is "dill pickle", used by one of the large burger chains (I forget which, and it may be all of them). "Pickle" on its own is usually something akin to Branston Pickle (easily the best known variety, but there are lots of similar pickles made by other companies), or occasionally chutney or Piccalilli.

    Pickled onions, pickled beetroot and (in some places) pickled eggs are also very popular in Britain. I would have thought that picked onions were more common than all the others put together, including gherkins, so that it would seem bizarre to single out gherkins for exclusive use of the word "pickle".
    That's interesting, Jack. If I told you "I ate a pickle with my sandwich at lunch", what vegetable would you believe I was referring to? Would an onion or a beet seem as likely to you as a cucumber in that reference to a pickled vegetable?
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    That's interesting, Jack. If I told you "I ate a pickle with my sandwich at lunch", what vegetable would you believe I was referring to? Would an onion or a beet seem as likely to you as a cucumber in that reference to a pickled vegetable?
    I would be puzzled by the article. Without it, as an uncountable noun, it would undoubtedly be Branston or something similar. With the article, I would probably also take it to be something similar, with "a" referring to some variety of something like Branston, or a chutney or Piccalilli.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thank you. I'm pretty sure that some of us use "pickle" here in the U.S. as you use it in the U.K. But I had no idea that the meaning of "a pickle" would be an uncertainty to a speaker of BE. I assume that just about everybody in the U.S. understands it to mean "a pickled cucumber" rather than anything else related to the word "pickle" over here. I wouldn't make that assumption if I was talking with a foodie and I had noticed that he used "a pickle" regularly with some other meaning.

    In an earlier post, Elroy didn't think many people in the U.S. would understand what a gherkin was. Based on my limited experience with "gherkin" in American English, I think Elroy is underestimating people's familiarity with the word. I have heard other AE-speakers use it in conversation, I use it myself occasionally, and I have often seen clearly labeled jars of gherkins on the shelf next to their older siblings in U.S. supermarkets.
     
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    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    And do BE speakers use the word pickle due to American influence, or do they use gherkin exclusively still?
    "Pickle" is not the same as "gherkin" over here, and as Uncle Jack implies, "pickle" in BrE is uncountable, whereas gherkins are countable. Consequently I say "How many gherkins would you like?" but "How much pickle would you like?"
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    ... If I told you "I ate a pickle with my sandwich at lunch", what vegetable would you believe I was referring to? ...
    I wouldn't. Like Jack, I'd be surprised that you said "a pickle" rather than "some pickle", but I'd assume that you were eating a condiment, a little like lumpy jam. A mixture of (say) onions, cauliflower, mango, hot pepper... chopped into 1-centimetre cubes and preserved in vinegar, with thickening and spices. My favourites are Indian: aubergine or garlic. These are very similar to chutneys - in fact I'd be hard put to define the difference between pickles and chutneys in English. (In Urdu chatni simply means condiment.)

    Otherwise I'd expect you to say "a/some pickled beetroot/onion/gherkin (3 cm long)/cucumber (10 cm long)..." or other vegetable of your choice.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think most people in the U.S. would think of a gherkin as a variety of pickle (i.e. cucumber), with a different size and texture. But the article I quoted in #29 says that's not technically correct. A gherkin, in the U.S., is made from a plant that is not a real cucumber, it just has a resemblance to them.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think most people in the U.S. would think of a gherkin as a variety of pickle (i.e. cucumber), with a different size and texture. But the article I quoted in #29 says that's not technically correct. A gherkin, in the U.S., is made from a plant that is not a real cucumber, it just has a resemblance to them.
    No, your post is about the Mexican sour gherkin which is not the gherkin found in US stores.
     
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