What is a Gherkin?
We have affectionatly nicknamed Ashley "The Gherkin." Some people have asked why so lets first discuss what a Gherkin is.
Gherkin (French cornichon) is a young cucumber (Cucumis sativus), picked when 1 to 3 inches (3 to 8 cm) in length and pickled in jars or cans with vinegar (often flavoured with herbs, particularly dill; hence, ‘dill pickle’) or brine.
The term can also be used to refer to the West Indian Burr Gherkin (Cucumis anguria), a related plant species, originally West African, that was introduced to the West Indies, probably by the Portuguese. This ‘true’ or Burr Gherkin or badunga cannot interbreed with the ‘true’ cucumber (Cucumis sativus), which is the condiment vegetable now generally known as the gherkin or dill pickle. The West Indian Burr Gherkin is edible and may be pickled but must be picked when no longer than 1.5 inches (4 cm) long, since it becomes bitter and spiny if allowed to grow larger.
We chose to call Ashley "The Gherkin" because due to her health condition she is very small and most likely will always be quite petite. She grew from 2 lbs 12 oz at birth to 12 lbs at 6 months old. From 6 months to 1 year she remained at 12 lbs. She is much like a little cucumber that dreams of becoming a great big ballpark dill pickle someday. However sadly some cucumbers never make it. In fact as stated above they are picked when but a mere 1-3 in. So much like the little pickle, our Ashley will always be our little "Gherkin."
Just as a point of order please do not confuse our "Gherkin with the skyscraper in London which also bears the nickname of "Gherkin." As you can see it is really more like a giant Dill Pickle.