Looking for cucumber seeds to plant in your garden? Wait a minute, what kind of cucumber do you prefer? There are bunch of cucumber varieties to be chosen. Some famous varieties are including Persian cucumber, lemon cucumber, English cucumber, and Armenian cucumber. Here are guide that is about to help you identifying different cucumbers.
You’ll also find some ideas about using those cucumbers you have planted and harvested. One common idea of using cucumbers is by serving them in salads. First of all, the main purpose you’re here, let me show you the beauty of various cucumbers.
Most Famous Cucumber Varieties
Do you know if cucumber has some famous varieties? These are perfect varieties if you’re looking for cucumbers to be served in salads.
1. Armenian cucumbers
The Armenian cucumbers have long and thin shape with slightly variegated both in lighter and darker shades of yellowish green or light green colors. This variety of cucumbers has delicious and crunchy taste when you serve them simply by slicing them raw. Armenian cucumbers come with thin skin and extremely soft seeds.
When you’re going to eat this kind of cucumber varieties, there’s no need to peel them or seed them. Since Armenian cucumbers have softer texture, they’re the worst kind for pickling. The softer texture of this cucumber is going to make your pickles become mush.
2. Seedless cucumbers also known as English cucumbers
Another name of this variety is the hot house cucumbers. Compared to the other cucumber varieties, English cucumbers come with dark green colored skin. The shape of this one is like the previous variety, thin and long. In the supermarkets, this cucumber variety is wrapped using plastic. If you want unwrapped English cucumbers, get them from farmers markets.
Even though they’re also known as hot house cucumbers, these cucumbers don’t need plastic wrap or hot house to grow. The taste of this cucumber is mild. But people are willing to pay for the minimal seeds and thin skin owned by this variety. Just like the Armenian variety, English cucumbers would be great to be served raw and sliced.
English cucumbers would be bad option for pickling. Use English cucumbers for cocktails. Add one or two slices of seedless cucumbers to your hot sake glass. You can also whip up your cucumber martini with this second of cucumber varieties.
Two Cucumber Varieties to Cook
If you’re looking for cucumbers you can cook, especially to make salads, these ones are going to make you fall in love.
1. Garden cucumbers
In the North America, garden cucumbers are extremely famous. This third of cucumber varieties has dark green colored skin that’s relatively smooth. Grocery stores usually sell the cucumbers that are already waxed in order to help the cucumbers retain their moisture. If you’re going to buy them, you need to peel the entire cucumbers.
Or you can purchase the garden cucumbers from farmers markets where the cucumbers won’t be waxed. However, you might want to enjoy the cucumbers peeled since their skin is bitter or thick. Garden cucumbers come with big seeds. Once you’re done removing those seeds, you can start cooking them in any recipes.
This is what you need for your pickles. Gherkins come in very small size. The length of some of them is even less than two inches. Gherkins are actually the best pickling cucumber varieties since their size fits the jar perfectly. In France, this cucumber is really famous since people there love the cornichons or pickled gherkins to be served with their pâté.
3. Kirby cucumbers
Kirby cucumbers come in short size and bumpy texture. Usually, Kirby cucumbers have skin color range from dark green to yellow. You sure can eat these bumpy cucumber varieties raw. But you can also make pickles with this cucumber. Some grocery stores sell this cucumber as pickling cucumbers.
The Most Delicious Cucumbers
If you’re looking for the most flavorful cucumbers, here are the best varieties to consider.
1. Lemon cucumbers
Lemon cucumbers come with less soft seeds, yellow colored skin, and great taste. This one is look like lemon. Lemon cucumbers can be served raw, they’re tasty already. Yet, lemon cucumbers will be awesome ingredient for pickles and salads.
2. Persian cucumbers
This seventh of cucumber varieties looks real similar to seedless cucumbers. However, there’s always something that makes both varieties different. Persian cucumbers come in greater length ranges. Some Persian cucumbers are longer while the others are shorter. Even some Persian cucumbers come with bump skin that makes them look like Kirby cucumbers.
Persian cucumbers come with thin skins and mild flavor. You would enjoy the best salads with this cucumber. These cucumbers are firm and crunchy enough to cook. So you can try stir frying this cucumber sometime.
So you’ve heard about cucumbers. Now what are you going to do? If you’re not growing one or some of those cucumber varieties, you need to know how to buy the best cucumbers. Luckily, you’ll find some help down here.
Choosing the Best Cucumbers
1. Do not buy rotten cucumbers
When you’re hunting for cucumbers, make sure you buy the firm ones only. Do not buy cucumbers that have soft spots or blemishes. They are the sign of rotten cucumbers. The color of good cucumbers is dark green with no yellow spots at all. The spots will develop as those cucumbers are getting overripe.
The unhealthy spots that appear in some cucumber varieties will produce odors and off-flavors. Also check the wrinkles. Wrinkles on the cucumbers show you that the cucumbers have stayed in storage for long time. Those wrinkles might also indicate that cucumbers have been placed at high temperatures until they lost the moisture. Always pick cucumbers with no wrinkles.
2. Not waxed or waxed cucumbers?
Many stores might wax their cucumbers while the others would enclose some cucumber varieties in the plastic. Those are going to help the cucumbers retaining the moisture so the cucumbers will stay fresh longer. If you don’t want the waxed cucumbers, consider purchasing organic cucumbers that must not use synthetic waxes.
3. Organic cucumbers are better
Since cucumbers are categorized as vegetables that are dirty because of containing pesticide residue much more compared to other vegetables, you need to get the organic cucumber varieties in order to avoid the residue.
What to do once you’ve got the cucumbers you desire? If they’re too much for one serving, you need to store them properly. We’d love to show you how to store your cucumbers correctly.
Storing Various Cucumber Varieties You’ve Purchased
Compared to the other vegetables, cucumbers actually are more perishable for storage. It is much better to buy fresh cucumbers once a week. Once you’ve shopped the cucumbers, you need to follow these steps to keep them fresh.
- Save the cucumbers inside your fridge if the cucumbers won’t be used immediately. Unfortunately, cucumbers are going to deteriorate inside your fridge because they can’t stand the cold temperature which is going to cause chilling injury in two or three days. You should never store all cucumber varieties inside the freezer since they’ll become gelatinous.
- If your cucumbers are all wrapped or waxed, they can stay chilled in your fridge for one week to two weeks. But if the cucumbers you’re about to store are not waxed, you can keep them only for one week. Wrap the not waxed cucumbers with plastic loosely then store them in your crisper.
- When you’re going to cut half of your cucumber than store the other half, wrap that other half tightly in plastic wrap. Store it inside plastic bag then place it inside your fridge. Then cook that leftover immediately.
Planning to cook cucumbers? There are few things to learn before you start following the recipes. Check out some crucial details here that guide you to the best cucumber dishes.
Rules in Preparing Your Cucumbers
1. Seed your cucumbers before cooking
Seeds of many cucumbers are going to add extra moisture to your dish. If you’re about to cook big sized mature cucumbers, seeding them would be good idea. The seeds of those cucumbers would ruin the taste of your meals.
2. Peel all cucumbers you’re about to cook
You don’t have to do this if you’re about to make salads from several cucumber varieties. But if you want to cook some other foods with this ingredient, peel your cucumbers first using peeler. Remove outer skin of cucumbers that are in dark green color. Before removing the skin, you can slice off your cucumber’s ends first to get easy point to either start or finish the peelings.
Using paring knife that’s so sharp is also a good idea. Just make sure you don’t take too much flesh of the cucumbers while you’re peeling. It is not easy to peel your cucumbers using knife since cucumbers might be slippery after you wash them. Be careful not to cut yourself when peeling using paring knife.
3. Remove the entire seeds using spoon
When you’re done peeling the cucumbers, start cutting them half lengthwise. Place your spoon at cucumber’s end, and then press it down really gently to your cucumber’s seed channel. Pull the spoon toward you in order to scoop out all seeds from the cucumber varieties you’re about to cook. Scoop all seeds gently since peeled cucumbers can break apart really easily.
4. Preparing your cucumbers
You’re free to grate, dice, or slice your cucumbers, depend on specifications of your recipe. Once your cucumbers have been peeled and seeded, you need to cook them immediately. All cucumber varieties are going to start oxidizing once the skin is gone. This is going to make your cucumbers become soggy.
Cooking Various Cucumber Varieties
Salad might be your favorite meal with cucumbers. But you need to know some other recipes that involve cucumbers as the main ingredient. How are you going to make some delicious meals from cucumbers? We’d like to share some secrets about it right now.
1. Chicken gyros
Serve your warm flat breads with chicken gyros, and then top them with cucumbers or pickles, green peppers, and also onions. Pour the sauce you love the most to make your chicken gyros tastes much better than other recipes. Use cucumber variety you like most since you’re going to be the one who’ll enjoy this dish.
2. Savory yogurt
For this meal, you must prepare a cucumber, a small melon, a spring onion, two celery stalks, mint leaves, an avocado, six radishes, half roman lettuce, juice from half lemon, and a tablespoon of olive oil that’s cold pressed. You’ll also have to prepare ingredients for the spiced chickpeas. Don’t forget to prepare two cups of the Greek yogurt in plain flavor.
Wash the entire ingredients for salad, cut your melon and cucumbers. Trim then slice your mint leaves, celery, also spring onion finely. Trim then slice your radishes thinly. Chop your roman lettuce. Put those ingredients inside mixing bowl then squeeze your lemon juice before drizzle the ingredients with salt and olive oil. Add the chickpeas mixture and yogurt to your salad.
3. Salmon cucumber rolls
To make this dish, you need to prepare a long seedless cucumber (cut it in two then remove the ends), half cup of softened cream cheese, and half cup of smoked salmon you’ve cut to strips. Peel your cucumber into strips. Blot your cucumber strips really gently using the paper towel in order to remove the excess moisture. Spread cream cheese on your cucumber.
Then press one strip of the smoked salmon right above your cream cheese. Now roll your cucumber up very tightly. Secure your roll using toothpick. With no toothpick, your roll is not going to stay in their position.
Can’t you see that all cucumber varieties can be tasty meals for you and your loved ones? Don’t hesitate growing cucumbers in your garden or purchase various types of cucumbers to know how they taste. Though cucumbers are best to make salad, you can cook them in some other ways. Be brave to try something new and you’ll see that you’re not done exploring so many types of cucumber.