By: Jennifer A. Wickes

The History of the Cucumber

Cucumbers have been around for thousands of years. It is believed that they originated from either Thailand or India. They are from the gourd family, and considered a fruit.

What varieties are there?

English cucumber or Hothouse cucumber can grow up to 2 feet.

How to choose a cucumber?

Cucumber season is from May to August. Choose a firm cucumber with a smooth brightly colored dark green skin. Avoid cucumbers with soft spots or shriveled areas.

The fruit is long and cylindrical, with a mild flesh, edible seeds and a dark green skin. This skin does not require peeling, unless it has been waxed. The cucumber is usually eaten raw, like in salads. Smaller cucumbers are used for pickles.

How do you store a cucumber?

Store whole cucumbers, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 10 days. Wash thoroughly before using. A cut cucumber can be refrigerated if tightly wrapped for 5 days.


anise seed, basil, caraway seed, chervil, chives, cilantro, cumin, dill, fennel, marjoram, mint, mustard, paprika, parsley, saffron, savory, tarragon, thyme, turmeric


1 medium cucumber = 1 1/2 cups chopped


Herbed Cucumber Salad
4 Servings
Prep 0:10 Cook 0:00 Stand 3:00 Total 3:10

1 packet Butter Buds Mix, liquefied
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1-tablespoon sugar
1/4-teaspoon thyme
1/8-teaspoon tarragon
2 cups sliced cucumbers
1/3 cup thinly sliced onions
4 lettuces

In covered jar, combine Butter Buds, vinegar, sugar, thyme, and tarragon; shake well. Place sliced cucumber and onion in glass bowl. Add dressing and mix well. Chill several hours to marinate. Serve on lettuce leaves.

Source: Cumberland Packing Corporation

Thai Fresh Cucumber Salad (Taeng Kwa Brio Wan)
6 Servings
Vegetarian Dishes

3 cucumbers, sliced as thinly as possible *
1/2 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar, dissolved in:
1/4-cup hot water
4 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons minced red onion OR 1 tablespoon minced scallions, (optional)

*Note: The book says to peel the cucumbers only if they are waxed and even then leave on a few strips.

In a bowl, generously salt the sliced cucumbers. Allow sitting for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Combine the other ingredients.
Squeeze out as much of the cucumber juice as you can, by wringing a handful at a time in a double layer of cheesecloth or a dishtowel.
Twist until you can extract no more juice.
Combine the squeezed cucumbers and the sauce in a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Source: Public domain recipes converted from Meal Master

This article was originally published at Suite 101.

Jennifer Wickes is the editor at "Cooking With The Seasons". This site was voted to be one of the Top 100 Culinary Sites on the Internet! To visit her site, go to: Or visit her at Suite 101's Food and Drink Community: Or contact her directly at:

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