Our almost 2 years old toddler loves oignons accompagnying pickled gherkins. Unfortunately, trying to pick one by herself, she spilled all the pickle from a brand new (commercial, pasteurized) jar. I guess the lack of pickle will affect the gherkins conservation : how long will they remain edible (kept in the fridge) ? Still a few weeks, or rather a few days ?

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    For the sake of clarification due to differing terms in America, Gherkins here is referring to the actual pickled cucumbers(where it is commonly referred to as the "pickle" in the US) and the pickle the OP is referring to is the pickling liquid. Correct me if im wrong. – Jay Oct 18 '13 at 14:36
  • Jay, a gherkin is not the same thing as a cucumber, right? But both can be pickled I guess. Here it is about pickled gherkins. Or what is usually meant with "pickles". But the pickle is indeed also the name of the liquid. – Mien Oct 18 '13 at 15:06
  • @Mien: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gherkin Gherkin is a type of flavor for pickled cucumbers. – Jay Oct 19 '13 at 0:23
  • It also refers to size. Gherkins (in the US) are small. – Jolenealaska Oct 19 '13 at 9:07

You might see some loss of quality within a couple of months, but under refrigeration they will not become close to "unsafe" in that length of time. They're already "pickled", the worst you will face is dried out pickles. You can always add more "pickle" in the form of vinegar, salt, sugar and water (boiled and cooled), but it seems pretty unnecessary - two potato salads and you're done with them.

  • Sorry, I don't think that is true. The drying out is a safety issue, because the acid that protects the vegetable will no longer be present. There is a reason they are stored in the pickling medium. – SAJ14SAJ Oct 19 '13 at 12:45
  • The acid is well soaked in by the time it's a pickle. I have no sources but thirty years of experience being a pickle, olive, hot pepper juice drinker. I love that stuff. Never ever ever have I ever had a suspicion that the olive, pickle or pepper might have turned. I wouldn't bet the farm on years, but 2 months? Easy. – Jolenealaska Oct 19 '13 at 12:53
  • Sorry, I cannot agree. The cucumber is like a sponge; it needs to be bathed in the pickle to maintain safety. While you may have had good experiences, that is not a basis to make public recommendations in my mind. These pickles should now be treated as refrigerator food, and eaten relatively soon--a week or two. – SAJ14SAJ Oct 19 '13 at 13:01
  • Well, over-paranoia trumps three decades of anecdotal evidence - I have no basis other than always drinking my pickle. Right now, in my fridge, I have 3 kinds of olives (dry), 4 types of peppers (dry), a jar of capers (dry) and a single "married" jar of pickles...For some reason I always kind of feel bad for pickles lacking hydration. At any rate, for any of these I might get concerned at the 1 year point. 2 months? They're still wet with their brine unless they've partied in the oven. – Jolenealaska Oct 19 '13 at 13:24

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