The Perfect Pickle

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I received a jar of Malassol cornichons from Maille Canada, but received no other consideration. All opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago, I told you about the balsamic and honey mustard that Maille Canada was kind enough to send me. Well, I received another package from them, this one to replace the jar of Malassol cornichons that had opened in transit. I wasn’t expecting it, but I’m so glad they did.

I’ve always been fussy about pickles. Growing up, I wouldn’t touch dill pickles or gherkins, but I couldn’t get enough of my mother’s pickled beets, beans, or well, anything but pickled cucumbers. As an adult, I’ve softened my position, but I’d never fight anyone for one. Until now.

Maille’s Malassol cornichons are worth fighting for. Most pickles in North America are dill-heavy, with an eye-scrunching acidity. These cornichons (or gherkins) are well-balanced. There is dill in the mix, but not enough that you can’t taste the other flavours in the brine, including tarragon-infused mustard seed. There’s also a pleasing sweetness mixed in with the sourness you expect from pickles.

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Maille suggests serving them with charcuterie, tartare, or sauce gribiche, but you might find yourself eating them straight from the jar. It’s what happened at my house, so be warned.

I set aside five, just enough to make a variation on this potato salad. I skipped the capers and used sherry vinegar in place of red wine vinegar, as I wanted a more delicate balance to highlight the cornichons. The dressing and pickles worked beautifully together – a grown up potato salad that happens to be vegan and gluten-free.

Now, I’m left with two problems. The pickles are gone and the jar of less lofty gherkins that replaced them aren’t satisfying my pickle-loving partner the way they used too. Then, there’s the delicious brine that’s left in the jar. I’ve been adding it to dressings and sauces, but a little goes a long way. And I’m not Millennial enough (or at all) to drink it straight up. Any suggestions?