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Query: Spicy Gherkins

Pickle Wrongness


A question for y’all: can anyone recommend a good brand of gherkins or cornichons? I’m looking for a good spicy / sour variety in a jar, to keep in the fridge to have on hand to accompany sandwiches, pate on crackers, etc. I’ve tried some from Lidl and Marks & Spencer but they’re just too sweet. Fallon & Byrne have fantastic sour cornichons at their deli counter, but they’re expensive and don’t keep as long as the jars.

The problem, I think, is the type of vinegar that the tiny cucumbers are pickled in.  If it’s a sweet vinegar, they are sweet and nauseating (to me at least). If it’s sour, they are fiery and delightful.  I thought I’d struck gold in my local Polish shop (Wisla on South Circular Road at Dolphin’s Barn) yesterday with the pictured pickles, but they turned out to be sweet pickles with chilli pieces in the vinegar.  So, sweet and disgusting, but with an aftertaste of chilli.  NO.

It’s a nuisance when you buy pickles, which only ever seem to come in giant jars, and then can’t eat them, and they sit there taking up valuable fridge real estate until someone eventually throws them away. Lidl and Marks & Spencer have disappointed me with their sickly pickles. Can you, our lovely readers, recommend some spicy brands?


  1. I’m not sure if anywhere in Dublin stocks them Jean, but the Maille cornichons are lovely and closer to what you’re looking for I reckon. You might find them or something similar in Donnybrook Fair or Listons? No doubt you’ll pay for them though! The French Paradox serve delicious ones with their charcuterie plate, could be worth sending them an email to find out where they get them.

  2. I always buy the Aldi and Lidl gherkins (with chilli) and love them. I did notice though last time in Aldi that they had ‘cornichons’ which were double the price of the gherkins, no idea if they’d be too sweet for you though.

    I’ve just looked at Tesco (there I said it!) online shopping and they seem to have quite a few…and aren’t too expensive. Might be worth a try if you haven’t already

    Mrs Elswood Sweet And Sour Cucumbers 670G – 1.49e
    La Doria Limited Sweet & Sour Gherkins Vinegar 680G €0.99
    Opies Cocktail Gherkins 227G €0.89

  3. Himself likes the aldi pickles with chilli. Apparently they’re actually hot. Personally, I despise the things.

  4. You will find Maille cornichons in larger Tescos, F&B and also Listons. They’re the best by far!

  5. In the Asian shop in Mary Street, between Penneys and Capel Street, you’ll find gerkins which are not sweet. They’re from Turkey and the company name on the jar is “Yaren”.

  6. I find the best gherkins/pickles/ogorki at the polish shops. Go for Ogórki kwaszone if you want a good sour one.