Raised in Australia by Greek-Italian parents, Harry Lalousis has always had a passion for good, hearty food. Maille appointed Harry to become a mustard sommelier, the profession which La Maison Maille has had in their boutiques since 1747, training at Maille’s boutique in London, UK. Through this extensive training, Harry has amassed a wealth of knowledge on the process of growing mustard seeds, the production of mustard, mustard flavour profiles, food trends and more. Each month, Harry will share his tips for cooking with mustard on Maille.ca.
This month, Maille is celebrating the hidden hero of the kitchen pantry. The food to which Cleopatra reportedly attributed her good looks, gherkins have been attributed healing effects since 850 BC. But new research shows that the crunchier, smaller, and cuter cousin of the pickle might just be the key to lifting your spirits and reducing stress of those who consume it regularly.
One might not equate cornichons with health food but the dwarf cucumbers pack on a punch nutritionally. While other brands use copious amounts of glucose and fructose and can contain as much as eight grams of sugar per serving, Maille gherkins have just two grams of sugar per thirty gram serving. Low in calories and fat, these cornichons carry an impressive amount of vitamin K — which plays a crucial role in fighting blood clots, liver disease as well as osteoporosis — iron, folate, calcium, vitamin A and potassium. And it doesn’t stop there, these little guys help control blood pressure, increase digestion, bone growth and improve muscle building (that’s probably why an Australian Rugby team was spotted drinking the juice and munching on gherkins on the sidelines to prevent cramping).
The French really were onto something when they said that the way to a mans heart was through his stomach. By changing the bacteria in your gut, you can positively affect your mood and brain function. Recent research from the University of Paris revealed that psychobiotic rich foods—specifically gherkins, pickles, yogurt and sauerkraut—have a significant impact on our overall happiness. The study, led by Michel Lejoyeux, showed that ingesting foods like gherkins at least three times a week can enable the gut to produce more serotonin (the happy hormone) which, when absorbed, is like a neurotransmitter that stimulates the brain and acts as a natural antidepressant, resulting in happier you). Positive health benefits were also noted on those suffering from chronic stress, low mood, or anxiety-like symptoms. So by simply incorporating psychobiotics - such as Maille Gherkins – into your meals, you literally chose to be happier! (Food CAN make you happy after all!)
For 40 years, Maille Canada has taken pride in offering a distinct, recognizable flavour and texture that offers something the regular pickle simply cannot. Handpicked before reaching maturity, Maille Gherkins are placed in specially designed vinegars within an hour of harvesting and seasoned with tarragon to provide that distinguished crunch, extra-tart bite and piquante flavour that is exclusive to the brand. In a league of its own, the Maille family of cornichons include a Russian Style pickle – the Malossol, launched in January – and three varieties of gherkins, including the NEW Caramelised Onion Gherkins, launching this month! These caramelized gherkins are full of natural sweetness from the caramelised, sautéed onions, and offer a delicate savoury blend of flavours. Try one of our simple gherkins recipes to add unexpected flavour and texture in your dishes, eat gherkins on their own, or add them to a cheese or charcuterie board. A little bit of joy in every bite.
Share your Maille Gherkins experience on social media using #MailleChef for an additional entry in our September Maille Canada Cook and Post to Win Contest. For tips and tricks, #AskMaille on Twitter or Instagram and we will get back to you!