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Fruit & Veg

Name:

Cucumber

Variety:

 

Family

Fruit

Availability:

Year round

Character:

Related to the watermelon and with a water content of 96%, it is easy to see why they are so refreshing.

Use:

Cucumbers are most popular as a salad vegetable, but they can be prepared in a surprising number of other ways. They make an excellent cold soup.  Cucumbers are very popular in summery salads, adding an interesting texture.  Cucumber is a great addition to pickles or chutneys.

Quality Points:

The best cucumbers will have a firm skin and an even colour. The shade of the cucumber is important with telegraph and short cucumbers, a vibrant green colour assures the buyer that the cucumbers have recently come from the vine, whilst a dull green or yellow indicates age

Storage:

Store in the warmest place in the fridge, use promptly. At some times of the year it is all right to store on the bench.

Preparation:

Young cucumbers have a mild and tender skin and it is unnecessary to peel them. Telegraph cucumbers never need to be peeled. Many European recipe books advocate peeling and removing the seeds, but the whole cucumber is usually enjoyed

Cooking Method:

They can be peeled and chopped and then sauteed to serve with fish. Cucumbers can be hollowed out and filled with a savoury filling which depending on the type of filling may be either eaten raw, microwaved or baked.

History:

Cucumbers are thought to have originated in Southern Asia and were very popular in India. They eventually spread to Europe, where for thousands of years they were used to quench thirst.

Nutrition:

Cucumbers are relatively poor in terms of nutrient content, however they are one of only a few foods to contain silicon. Silicon isnít a very common mineral and some sources state that it is important in connective tissue such as skin, hair and nails. Eating both the skin and seeds will deliver the best nutritional benefits. Cucumbers also contain some vitamin C, pro vitamin A as ‚-carotene in the skins, fibre through their skin and seeds, and potassium.

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