I see Des of Desbladet (see September 3rd, Puntnings, Gherkins and Wald) went for a punt trip in the Spreewald area and tried some Spreewaldgurken, which he calls gherkins. (Does he realize that’s the Sorb area?)
Well, I’m sure they are correctly called gherkins. But at home I thought of gherkins as these, which the Germans call Cornichons:
(Note the curious German word Kanuten for people in canoes – canoists?)
We only ever encountered the big ones in fish and chips shops, where they were called wallies, and where they still are called wallies, as I was able to confirm recently. But apparently it’s a Cockney term.
Those chips were better than they look. Incidentally, nearly all Germans believe you can’t eat fish and chips off a plate but have to have newspaper.
The other term I encountered for these was pickled cucumbers, which is a term used in Jewish cooking, as far as I can tell – there are many different types.
Finally, here are the pickle shelves in a not particularly big German supermarket.
It sounds as if wallies were named after the brand name.