Visiting a German Town Famous for Their Gherkins

Great Big Story, in partnership with the German National Tourist Board, visited the lush, green city of Spreewald in the German state of Brandenburg to learn more about their famous specialty gherkins that have been made for more than 150 years after a resident discovered how to pickle the many cucumbers growing in the area.

During the German reunification in 1990, locals set about documenting their pickling history with a museum, an enhanced marketplace, a convenient water transportation route and an annual Super-Gherkin Queen contest.

A Spreewald resident came up with the concept of pickling cucumbers—which grow in abundance in the region—over 150 years ago. Today, tourists visit the area to eat the salty, crunchy treat and visit the Gherkin Museum founded by Karl-Heinz Stark just after the reunification of Germany. Sixty miles outside of Berlin, Spreewald is a UNESCO biosphere reserve full of picturesque woodlands and a network of waterways.