Cucumbers are thought to have originated in Southern Asia and were very popular in India.
They eventually spread to Europe, where for a long time they were used to quench thirst as they contain 96% water. Cucumbers are related to watermelon, and are frequently used in salads, adding an interesting texture. In New Zealand we can buy several varieties of cucumber.
Mini or cocktail cucumbers are similar to Lebanese cucumbers. They are green skinned, white fleshed but only 9–11 cm long. They are very sweet and juicy with a tender skin that does not need peeling.
Store in the warmest place in the fridge and use promptly. Cooler times of the year they can be stored on the bench. Lebanese cucumbers are always best refrigerated.
How to prepare
Young cucumbers have a mild and tender skin and it is unnecessary to peel them. Telegraph, Lebanese and cocktail cucumbers never need to be peeled. European recipe books may advocate peeling and removing the seeds, but this is not normally necessary.
Ways to eat
Cucumbers are most popular raw as a salad vegetable. Slices of raw cucumber can be used like crackers when serving nibbles with drinks. Cucumbers can also be used in cold soup. They can be chopped and sautéed, or juiced.
Microwave, sauté, steam, stuff.