What are cornichons and what do they taste like?

Have you ever been served a meat and cheese plate that was literally only meat and cheese? By the end of it, you were likely begging for something to break up the rich flavors of fatty cheeses and salty meats. Enter the cornichon (pronounced "kor-nee-shon"). These tiny cucumbers, or gherkins, help break through the monotony with a bit of tart and sweet action (via The Spruce Eats). Some people even crave pickles when they're dehydrated, so cornichons make a great addition to any salty charcuterie platter. Not as sour as dill and not overly sweet like some pickles, cornichons have a great balance of flavors and blend well with a variety of foods.

Many grocery stores now carry cornichons, but if you want to pickle your own at home The Hangry Girly states that while the itsy bitsy cucumbers used to make these tiny pickles are easy to find in France, they can be much more evasive in America. You may need to check a specialty store, ask your local grocer if they carry them, or even grown them yourself!

Cornichons are useful in so many dishes

Cornichons bring a bit of tang to any dish, making the meal, or platter, feel more complete. The Spruce Eats states that these tiny pickles can usually be found alongside the fancy mustards and olives or with the other pickles. If your grocery store has an olive bar, be sure to check there as well.

We know that cornichons are great with a meat and cheese board, but where else can they be used? It turns out lots of places, actually. The tiny pickles incorporate nicely into deviled eggs, beef stroganoff, and egg salad (via The Spruce Eats). This recipe from Real Simple mixes cornichons with smashed potatoes and sausage for a kind of pumped up potato salad. Thanks to their small, snackable size, cornichons have a ton of versatility in the kitchen, according to Epicurious, allowing them to be chopped and stirred into tuna salad, mixed into mayo for a fancy dressing, or even simply sprinkled on top of buttered toast. In other words, use them as you would use any other pickle – small or large.