Burr Gherkin Heirloom Seed

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Burr Gherkin Heirloom seed : I first bumped into this literally years ago when I worked for William Woy Weaver, but I did not grow it on my own till years later. He also has done all the leg work for the foggy historical store, so I will use his words. “There was a lot of controversy in the 19th century about the origin of burr gherkins. I waded through the mountains of botanical journals devoted to this issue in 1996 when I decided to include burr gherkins in my book Heirloom Vegetable Gardening. Many Victorian botanists thought the plant came from Jamaica, but as it turned out, burr gherkins originated in West Africa and they were brought to the New World during the 1500s by both the Spanish and Portuguese, a seed exchange encouraged in part by the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

A closer look at African-based dishes in the Caribbean and South America confirms this old connection with Africa. In the Bahia region of Brazil, where Afro-Brazilian culture is the strongest, burr gherkins are called maxixe (mah-SHEE-shay) and they form the most important ingredient in a traditional dish called maxixada (mah-shee-SHAH-dah). This delicious and distinctive preparation deserves to be better-known, and because it’s a creative way to use the gherkins (especially if you like spicy foods), I have adapted a recipe (below) from Salvador, the capital of Bahia. Established in 1549, it is known today for its exquisite architecture , as well as its reputation as the center of a culinary renaissance. In Bahia, no respectable kitchen garden is without its maxixe.

Burr gherkins were introduced to the United States in the 1790s from Jamaica, with the idea that they would make excellent mini-cucumber pickles. In that period, “gherkin” was a term for cucumbers harvested when they were super small.” Told you he is the master.

So you will need a trellis or fence for these bad boys to climb, for they are ravenous eaters of anything that they can climb. The fruits are picked small to pickle but the large ones, that look like they could hurt you, are wonderful as well, with a mild cucumber flavor.  (Maldon salt makes them explode with flavor.)

about 10 seeds.