A customer of mine sent over some pickled quays, and they were really good, but I have no idea what they are. Anyone know?
What do they look like? That might help. why do i think quail eggs? I don't really know, just a wild guess
I found a recipe online for pickled quays, but in the recipe it said to slice the quay and remove the seeds. The pickled quays I got are green rings of some sort of vegetable. They are the size of an old US silver dollar and look like gear cogs. There are some pieces in there that are smaller, giving me the impression that it might have been some sort of cucumber or squash. The customer dropped them off at my office then left, then someone in the office brought them to me so I didn't have the chance to ask what they were. I am going to ask my customer what they are the next time I see her, but that could be days from now. On the jar where she included the ingredients, she listed quay. Thanks for the help.
I've checked all my references, and can't find it under cucumbers, melons, or squashes. Doesn't mean much, though, as there are hundreds of varieties that fit.
From your description, however, I'd guess that they are either a Russian or Japanese cucumber or pickling melon.
Be nice if your customer knows what they are.
This forum thread supports my claim equating quays to the Armenian cucumber
One of my first thoughts, Phil, was that they were Armenian Cukes (aka, serpent cucumber, snake cucumber), which, of course, are really melons.
However, none of my references use quay as a synonym, which is why I suspect a lesser known Russian or Japanese variety. Or maybe even one from any of the Indian Ocean islands.
Of course, the way things go, "quay" is probably some foreign word that merely translates as "pickle."
Hmm. Where have you seen this term, precisely? I'm wondering about the spelling.
See, if this were printed in mainland China today, I would pronounce the word "chooway," roughly. If I saw it coming from maybe Hong Kong and an older label, I'd pronounce it "kway." If it's Japanese, I'd be up a creek, because there's nothing obviously parallel at all. And so it goes.
But the point is, the two Chinese terms, que and kuei are totally different. In roughly the same way as, let's say, "eye" and "aim" are different in English. And they could be transcribed into English in remarkably different ways. And, of course, that's just assuming Mandarin, which is a very bad assumption with imported foods, so many of which still come from Cantonese or Fukienese-speaking areas. So if one could narrow down roughly how it's supposed to sound, or at least what language it's supposed to be coming from, we might have reasonable odds of pinning it down.