When we taste pickled foods, we think of vinegar and lacto-fermentation. Lacto-fermentation has recently commanded a lot of our attention. We recently re-visited vinegar pickling, choosing a new starting point. Usually we balance acidity with salt and sugar. In this case, we created a vinegar simple syrup using equal parts brown sugar and rice vinegar. We seasoned the syrup with 0.5% salt. Then we used it to cook fairy tale eggplants. We simmered the eggplants for five minutes in the syrup and then let them cool to room temperature. When the eggplants were cool we removed them from the syrup which had absorbed that funky eggplant bitterness, removing it from the fruit. The pickled eggplants were sweet, tart, firm, and seasoned. They were eggplant cornichons. Was starting with the vinegar simple syrup the key? Perhaps. Choosing a different starting point will often lead to new discoveries.