Cucumbers: All About Them
Cucumbers have been cultivated for over 3,000 years. They originated in India, and the earliest record of cultivation in North America dates back to the 16th century. The cucumber belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. Its relatives include watermelon, muskmelon, pumpkin, and squash.
There are three varieties of cucumbers – slicing, pickling, and burpless. Pickling cucumbers often have a thicker, bumpier skin. Burpless have a thinner skin, more pleasant taste, and are easier to digest, which gives them the name “burpless”.
- Cucumbers are excellent paired with dill, garlic, or mint, and a bit of acid (vinegar or lemon juice)
- Leave the peel on for added fiber, potassium, and Vitamin K!
- Pickling is a great way to preserve the harvest and enjoy cucumbers year-round! You can use slicing cucumbers for pickles, but they may turn out a bit softer than pickles made with pickling cucumbers.
- Blend cucumber with yogurt, a complementary flavor, and acid to make a dip or a soup.
HOW TO STORE THEM
Cucumbers store best at 50º Fahrenheit. They will last several days if kept in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator. Wrapping them in a moist towel or paper towel will help them last a day or two longer. You may also consider leaving them out on the counter if they’re going to be used within 1–2 days.
3 WAYS TO PREPARE THEM
- Pickle! Make a quick refrigerator pickle or try lacto-fermenting.
- Sauté! Chop the cucumber and sauté it in butter with dill for 5 minutes, until slightly tender.
- Make a cucumber salad! Thinly slice cucumber and onions, then add salt, rice vinegar, and pepper flakes, to taste.