Posts Tagged ‘gherkins’

Snack Food Review: Monolith Isumrudnye Pickled Gherkins

12 March, 2010

A QUICK post for the handful of other people who are searching for the perfect pickles. Here is a jar of Monolith Isumrudnye.

Monolith Isumrudnye Pickled Gherkins jar

I choose it from the shelves of Russkij Bazar in London’s East-End because it looked genuine, what with the Cyrillic. It turns out to be fake Russian, made by German manufacturer and distributor Monolith Gruppe for the huge East-European market in its backyard. Or so I was told by the pleasant lady who runs the shop.

Monolith Isumrudnye Pickled Gherkins front label

With a label like that, how would you know it’s not actually from Russia? Or Belarus? Or Ukraine? Or Bulgaria? Or… are those all the countries that use Cyrillic? If you know what any of those words or names mean, leave your translations in the comments section below.

Monolith Isumrudnye Pickled Gherkins back label

The sneaky depths of the product deception are revealed on the back. No more traditional looking Cyrillic. Just your typical multi-lingual EU product label. Monolith’s German address and web address are on there ( in case you were wondering).

The ingredients are cucumbers, spirit vinegar, sugar, salt, spices, acidifying agent, citric acid, oak leaves and flavour. That’s right. This jar contains tree foliage. I’m sold on the idea. Next I want to find one with pine cones and barn owl. It does mean however that it shouldn’t be too salty, unlike the last ones few I’ve tried, thank god.

So what do Monolith Isumrudnye Pickled Gherkins taste like? How do they compare and should you get some?

I like ‘em. They’ve got a nice, savoury taste. A hint of vinegar and a mildly salty finish. None of which are overpowering. They’re quite crunchy, though could be crunchier, and about the right size to be a good finger food snack.

Comparing them to the salt gherkins would be like comparing tangerines to oranges. But I will anyhow, and declare Monolith Isumrudnye Pickled Gherkins one of the best I’ve had for some time. Try them if you’re not so keen on salted gherkins.

Have you tried Monolith Isumrudnye Pickled Gherkins? Can you translate any of the words or names on the front label? Then I want to hear from you. Leave your opinions, corrections, recommendations, insights and places to buy, in the comments section below.

Snack Food Review: Steinhauer Oгурчики чесночнЬіе (Salted Pickled Cucumbers (Gherkins))

16 November, 2009

IT’S been months since I did one of these. But I know from the comments that at least one of you out there likes reading about pickle cucumbers and gherkins, and is looking for that elusive perfect pickle. So for that one lonely person, and myself, here is a super quick review of Steinhauer Oгурчики чесночнЬіе, which I think, transliterates as Steinhauer Ogurgicky Chesnochnia something or other. If you know your Cyrillic, do please leave your proper translations in the comments at the end of the post.

I bought this jar at the Brick Lane Sunday market in London’s East-End for £1.70 pence. Why did I choose this one? The Cyrillic writing on the label. That’s how you know you’re getting real East-European food.

The left-hand-side of the label reveals what I can call them until my Cyrillic improves.

Under The English language section, they’re called “Salted cucumbers with garlic”. Not much else of note. Mostly a list of herbs and leaves that mean little to me. Plus the address of the East-London based importer, Monolith-UK Ltd.

Over on the right are a few more small-print details.

The net weight is on top, followed by the drained weight. All you need to know is that when full, it’s a big, heavy jar. Not massive. Just big.

There’s also an address and a web address of It’s also worrying. That’s a big, German importer. And I can’t find anywhere that says where this jar came from. Sure, it has some Cyrillic. But it also has the very Germanic name Steinhauer. I’m beginning to suspect that these are more Bavarian than Bulgarian.

Regarless of that, they could still be good. So, what do they look, smell and taste like? Let’s find out.

What do they look like? They look like cucumbers. Small-ish.

What do they smell like? Not bad. Excellent, in fact. It smells of all sorts of herbs. Best smelling pickles I’ve tried yet.

What do they taste like? They’re salted cucumbers. They taste salty. Luckily, not too salty. Instead, being quite mild and easy to eat. You can taste a hint of those herbs and garlic as well. More good news is that they’re fresh and crunchy.

To sum up, Steinhauer Salted Cucumbers with Garlic are not bad. If you like salted cucumbers, they’re the best I’ve tried so far. I’ll go for the sweeter variety next time though. Are they the perfect pickle? They’re good, but not quite perfect.

Have you tried them? What do you think? Do please leave your translations, corrections, places to buy and anything else you want to share with the world, here in the comments.

Snack Food Review: Wardour Pickled Sweet and Sour Gherkins

18 March, 2009

SO far on my search for the perfect pickle, results have been mixed. Cypressa Gherkins were plain. Baktat Pickled Gherkins were salty and awful. Mrs Elswood Pickled Whole Sweet Cucumbers on the other hand were delicious, sweet and cucumbery. Tasty, but lacking the tangy-ness that I’m looking for. So what will Wardour Pickled Sweet and Sour Gherkins taste like?

Wardour Pickled Sweet and Sour Gherkins jar

At £1.25 pence for a 670g full jar, it seems like quite good value. The jar certainly looks packed with plenty of unidentified stuff besides the gherkins.Can’t say that I’ve ever heard of “Wardour Famous Food” though. Have you?

Over on the left-hand-side of the label, and we can see all the little details that you’d want to know about what’s in the jar.

Wardour Pickled Sweet and Sour Gherkins left of label

There’s a big table full of nutrition information. While I’m going to ignore. There’s a list of ingredients too, which you should pay attention to. On the other jars of pickles, salty or sugary water was the order of the day. Wardour’s sweet and sour gherkins however have spirit vinegar and sugar as the order of the day with salt and spices behind. And that is going to make these taste different to any I’ve tried so far. Not different to plenty of others on the market mind you. You’ll see the same thing on plenty of jars on shop shelves.

For the very curious, there’s a web address on this side of the label. Oddly, it’s not But rather That’s because Waissel’s is an importer. Their Wardour page is at

Over on the other side of the label, there’s little to report.

Wardour Pickled Sweet and Sour Gherkins right of label

As you can see.

So let’s move to the interesting bit. What do Wardous Pickled Sweet and Sour Gherkins taste like? Will they be better than the ones I’ve tried so far? Should you buy them?

Let’s find out.

Wardour Pickled Sweet and Sour Gherkins open jarWardour Pickled Sweet and Sour Gherkins on a fork

They’re the right size for your fork. They’re chewy. But the taste is something else. The main taste is sweet, like Mrs Elswood Pickled Whole Sweet Cucumbers. That was unexpected because sugar isn’t the top ingredient. But it doesn’t end there. The vinegar adds a tangy angle to the taste and rounds it off nicely. There’s also some hints of the spicy stuff that’s also in the jar.

What do I like about Wardour Pickled Sweet and Sour Gherkins? A lot. They are tasty and delicious.

What don’t I like? Not much that I can think of. I would like more tangy-ness and a little less sweetness. They are savoury snacks afterall. I could ask for the same flavour but in the form of pickled cucumbers. But those would be minor complaints.

To sum up, Wardour Pickled Sweet and Sour Gherkins are a great example of what pickles should be. Not totally perfects. They are tasty though. Well worth your purchase.

Have you tried Wardour Pickled Sweet and Sour Gherkins? What did you think of them? Got any requests, recommendations or places to buy that you want to share? Then do please leave a comment here.

Snack Food Review: Baktat Pickled Gherkins

5 January, 2009

CYPRESSA GHERKINS were some of the most mediocre pickles I’ve tried. They were as tasty, tangy and crunchy as daffodils. Let’s see is Baktat Pickled Gherkins can do any better.

Baktat Pickled Gherkins jar

This 24.3oz (690g) jar is a chubby looking thing.

On one side of the label is a whole table of boring “Nutrition Facts”.

Baktat Pickled Gherkins nutrition information

And the other side has the ingredients and importer. Where we learn that these pickled gherkins come from Turkey. As they would do since I bought it from Turkish owned corner shop Bethnal Green Food Center. Then again, nearly every corner shop in Bethnal Green is Turkish, so finding food that isn’t, is a challenge.

Baktat Pickled Gherkins barcode

Are Baktat Pickled Gherkins the gherkins and snack food you should buy? Let’s find out if they are.

Baktat Pickled Gherkins open jar

Baktat Pickled Gherkins

Baktat Pickled Gherkins

Without many pieces of garlic, peppercorns and other odds and ends they look clean and delicious. And mostly, they are. Not the largest pickles you can get in a jar. But if dill cucumbers are too small for you, these might not be.

The crunchiness is a vast improvement on Cypressa’s floppy gherkins. It’s got tanginess. But not a lot of it. What it has got is an interesting taste. Baktat Pickled Gherkins are spicy. Not chilli-sauce spicy. Just spicier than a salad sandwich. What you notice most however, is how salty it is. And so it should be when you consider that salt takes the lead over vinegar in the ingredients list.

These are crunchy, spicy, salty pickled gherkins. Fine if that’s what you want. Did I enjoy them? They’re better than Cypressa Gherkins, I’ll give you that. But for me, they’re too salty. Baktat, reduce the salt and increase the vinegar and these will be superb. As it is, Baktat Pickled Gherkins are like eating a cucumber that’s been preserved in the Mediterranean instead of a jar.

Have you tried Baktat Pickled Gherkins? Have you got any opinions, corrections, requests or recommendations? Are you the importer or manufacturer? Then do please leave a comment here.

Snack Food Review: Cypressa Gherkins

17 December, 2008

DESPITE growing up in Pembrokeshire, I’ve always loved pickled gherkins. That’s a bit like someone in Turkey having a love of gravy. Whatever the reason, and whatever your own origins, the preserved condiments make outstanding snacks.

But what makes a good pickle? Pondering this question for nearly twelve seconds led me to the decision that a good pickle needs to be:

  • Tasty
  • Tangy
  • And crunchy

Most corner shops and supermarkets here in the UK have jars of Mrs Elswood brand pickles. And they’re perfectly fine. But, regular readers will know that I like to see what else is on the shop shelves. Helping me in this quest is London with its shops catering for every single nationality.

Where do we begin? With a jar of Cypressa Gherkins purchased for £1.29 pence from Anisha Cash & Carry on Redchurch Street in Bethnal Green.

Cypressa Gherkins

The ingredients are gherkins, water, vinegar, sugar, salt, sill, mustard seeds, onion, and flavourings. Is any of that relevant? I don’t know my types of pickle well enough. If you think any of that is important, leave a message at the end of this post.

The Wikipedia page on Pickled Cucumber at does make it look like this is Polish style picked cucumbers. Can anyone confirm that? Messages at the bottom of this post please.

What else can I tell you? Well, it has a 680 gram net weights and a 370 gram drained weight. It was imported into this country by Katsouris Brothers Ltd. And it is the product of Turkey. Which must be why they’re laying claim to the “Cypress” part of the “Cypressa” name.

Cypressa Gherkins

But, are they any good? Let’s open it and find out.

Cypressa Gherkins

Even with vinegar as one of the main ingredients, you can hardly taste it. It tastes more of salty water. But even that’s not very strong.

Cypressa Gherkins

Cypressa Gherkins

Are they tasty? Not very. There’s almost no flavour. They’re nearly plain old dill cucumbers that just happen to be floating in a jar.

Are they tangy? Surprisingly, no. They’re a tiny bit tangy, but nothing more.

Are they crunchy? There’s a minimum level of crunchiness. They’re not chewy. Just adequate in crunchiness.

Cypressa Gherkins seem to be all about providing the least flavoured pickled dill possible. That might be great for some recipes and sandwiches. But I want more flavour. Buy them if you want a gentle experience and almost no taste. Otherwise, pick up a different jar the next time you visit the shops.

And so ends my first review of a jar of pickled gherkins. What did you think? Have you tried Cypressa Gherkins? Is there anything you want me to look out for next time? Leave your corrections, opinions, requests, recommendations and places to buy in the boxes below.

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