Is A Pickle A Fruit? The Answer May Surprise You

Just the thought of a crisp pickle can make your mouth start to water. The sweet and sour taste that suddenly hits your tongue when you eat a pickle is both tangy and refreshing. And on burger or sandwich is complete with a slice of this wonder ingredient. But what exactly is a pickle, and is a pickle a fruit?

A pickle is a cucumber that has been soaked in either saltwater or vinegar solution. A cucumber is classified as a fruit as it develops from a flower and holds seeds. Other ingredients like dill or garlic are also often added, depending on the pickle recipe.

If you have ever thought that a pickle looks familiar but tastes nothing like a regular cucumber, you would be correct. Let’s find out how this ordinary little fruit gets transformed into a zingy taste sensation. 

Is A Pickle A Fruit? or Is A pickle A vegetable??

When it comes to families, things can sometimes get a little confusing. Most people think that cucumbers, which a pickle is made from, should fit in the vegetable family because they are often used as vegetables. Slices of fresh cucumber are also often served in salads. 

There are two main types of cucumbers. The fat, long ones you may have in your refrigerator at home that you put in salads are called slicing cucumbers. Its cousin, the short, mini-cucumbers that you get next to your burger, are called pickling cucumbers. These teeny, tiny cucumbers start out tasting a lot like the big salad ones when they are fresh and just been harvested, although they are sometimes a bit more knobbly.

Because we tend to treat some fruits like tomatoes and cucumbers like vegetables when we prepare food, things get a little mixed up. But if you know the rules about deciding when something is a fruit or vegetable, you will be able to classify things better the next time you walk through the grocery store. Before we go on, let’s look at a few of the main differences between a fruit and a vegetable.

FruitVegetable
Develops from a flower on a plantIt’s the leaves, root, or stem of a plant
Has seeds inside or on itDoes not contain seeds
Usually sweeterMay not be sweet
Lighter texture and easier to eat rawTexture can be rough and may need to be cooked first
Example: Apple, strawberry, tomato, cucumberExample: Carrot, onion, potato

So while you may not enjoy biting into a raw potato, you probably won’t mind biting into a deliciously sweet apple. And those teeny, tiny black specs on the outside of strawberries are the seeds. But enough about other fruit, let’s get back to delicious pickles. 

Because a pickle is a cucumber, it is a fruit. But how does a regular tasting cucumber go from ordinary to zingy? The answer is lots of salt or vinegar. To make a mini cucumber into a delicious sweet and sour pickle that will crunch and make your mouth water, it needs to be pickled! 

People started pickling food before there were fridges to make it last longer without going bad. Lots of things can be pickled, even some types of meat. Pickling means that food is soaked and fermented in either salt or vinegar to preserve it. In the case of a pickle, it also makes it extra delicious. 

Pickle Related Questions

Do Pickles Need To Be Refrigerated? 

Once a bottle of pickles has been opened, it is recommended to keep it in the refrigerator. They probably also taste crisper and crunchier if they are cool. Once they are open, they can safely stay in the fridge for more than a year – although who would be able to resist these delicious morsels for that long?

How Long Can Pickles Last? 

The original point of the pickling process was to preserve food without refrigeration. Unopened bottles of pickles can stay in a cool pantry for more than two years past the expiration date. That may sound impossible, but keep in mind that bacteria will have a lot of trouble growing in the super salty, acidic pickle jar. 

That does not mean that pickles can’t go bad – it just takes a long time. There are three things to look for if you are deciding whether or not an old bottle of pickles is still safe to eat. Throw it away immediately if you notice any of the following:

  • The lid of the bottle is bulging
  • There is any mold present
  • It doesn’t smell good

Pickles past their expiration date are probably still safe to eat, but they may not be as crunchy and delicious. 

What’s The Difference Between Dill and Kosher Dill Pickles? 

If you have looked carefully at the bottles of pickles in the grocery store, you will see many different types to choose from. Although the basic pickling process is the same, many different ingredients can be added to give each variety its particular taste. Some people like sour pickles, some love tangy, while others prefer a salty taste. 

One of the main ingredients in dill pickles is, you guessed it, dill. Dill is a herb that is related to the celery family. The seeds and stems of the dill plant are used in lots of foods, but the best-known one is pickles.

The difference between dill pickles and kosher dill pickles is one basic ingredient – garlic. Kosher pickle is a special name for the recipe first used by the New York City Jewish pickle makers. There is a lot more garlic in the mixture than regular dill pickles. The taste was so delicious that it quickly became popular everywhere and was called Kosher Dill pickles. 

Conclusion

A pickle is or rather was a fruit before it became a delicious pickle. A dill pickle is a cucumber that has been fermented in brine or vinegar to give it a special tangy taste. The great thing about pickles is that they hardly ever go bad, and anyway, they wouldn’t have time to because they are so mouth-wateringly delicious!