Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the products discussed here were provided to me for reviewing purposes at no cost.
With National Picnic Month going strong and a much-enjoyed family beach trip still fresh in our memories, a recent shipment of Maille Cornichons could not have arrived at a better time. Maille is internationally-renowned for the line of gourmet mustards it has produced since 1747, however its many other food products and accessories are held in equally high regard.
Noticeable right away about the cornichons (petite gherkins) was that they are firmer in texture than the pickles to which many people may be accustomed. Whereas most supermarket gherkins are marketed to emphasize their sweetness, Maille cornichons are tart with a clean-tasting flavor bearing none of the weight imparted to other pickles cured in brines overpowered by sugar or dill. Here, it is the gherkins themselves you are tasting, and any faint briny elements come across as a pleasant afterthought that enriches the cornichon without displacing its inherent flavor. Any sweetness to be derived from this product comes in the form of the pickled pearl onions added to the jar amidst the gherkins. Their taste of minimal sugar with that same fresh, barely-there briny element provides a nice companion to the tartness of the cornichons.
Another notable quality worth mentioning involves the brine in which these cornichons are packed. Whereas many pickle purveyors care nothing about subjecting their product to bathing in vats filled either with cloudy fluid resembling formaldehyde or antifreeze-green liquid that practically glows, the brine in these jars of Maille cornichons is clear. The cornichons are crisper than standard or even similar pickled gherkins, with a crunch that somehow manages to feel rewarding and adds undeniable excitement to any meal they join. Having enjoyed them with toasted breads, assorted cooked meats and deli cuts, and a variety of chutneys and relishes (not to mention some velvety Maille Dijon mustard), I can say with confidence and honesty that Maille cornichons are likely to please anyone who enjoys petite pickles with firm texture and crunch. Served with pates, breads, cheeses, meats, they add a level of sophistication to picnic meals, snack times, or any other occasion to enjoy good food.
Discover this and other wonderful products at http://www.maille.com/