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Persian Cucumbers

Seasons Availability

Persian cucumbers are available year-round - most available in summer months.

Current Facts

Technically cucumbers are a fruit but are treated, eaten and thought of as a vegetable.

Description/Taste

Similiar to a common green-skinned cucumber, the Persian cucumber measures about four to five inches long. The crunchy watery texture offers a sweet flavor.

The European seedless has great color, good size, and great shape, but I think it has very little flavor compared to regular cukes. Often called the burpless (cucumber seeds cause some people to belch), they have less flavor precisely because they are seedless. The seeds are what carry most of a cucumber's flavor.

Nutritional Value

Having practically no fat, cucumbers are low in calories and offer a bit of fiber. Peeling the cucumber is recommended,as they are waxed to retain moisture for markets. Eating five daily servings of fruits and vegetables lowers the chances of cancer. A recent study found that eating nine or ten daily servings of fruit and vegetables, combined with three low-fat dairy products, effectively lowered blood pressure.

Applications

This special sweet-tasting cucumber makes an excellent addition to salads, sandwiches, yogurt, and is ideal for making crisp pickles. The flesh makes especially refreshing relishes and chutneys. Puree; add to chilled soups. Blend plain yogurt with garlic powder, salt, black pepper, thyme or basil to taste; serve in the shell of this cucumber for an appetizer; offer cucumber slices for dipping. Slice thinly; sprinkle with salt; let stand about a half hour; drain; add white vinegar and slivered onions or lemon juice and dill or a splash of white vinegar, chopped dill and a generous spoonful of sour cream; mix well and serve. To store, refrigerate cucumbers in a crisper drawer.

Ethnic/Cultural Info

In classical times, cucumbers were very popular in Europe, eaten with salt or lemon juice.

Geography/History

Cucumbers are believed to have originated in India and have been cultivated about three thousand years. Especially popular in Greek and Arab cuisine, this cucumber may have origins in Persia because of the name; however, there is no evidence to support that theory. Cucumbers have an amazing capacity to retain water and to remain cool. Its interior may be up to twenty degrees cooler than its exterior. A fact that explains the old expression, "cool as a cucumber". Grown now in Cab=nada, Mexico and the Caribbean along with countries throughout Europe.

Cucumbers

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