One day my grandmother decided we would make Bread & Butter Pickles. We mounded a huge bowl with thinly-sliced cucumbers, added a good amount of salt, covered it and let it rest overnight. I was totally amazed the next morning to find the bowl only half filled! Yes. Cucumbers are about 90 percent water!
However, the flavor and fiber surrounding salt water carry a characteristic flavor which almost every culture hastens to combine into historic, favorite relishes and dishes. The watery vegetable is the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world after onions, cabbage and tomatoes.
Believed to have originated in India, cucumbers are now grown all over the world.
As a gourd and member of the Curcurbita family, some of cucumbers’ relatives are the muskmelon, watermelon and squash. Their common structure is a thin skin, a substantial wall of flesh, or meat, with a center of web-held seeds.
Cucumbers fall into three main headings: slicers, picklers and seedness or burpless.
As cucumbers certainly depend upon their moisture and are sensitive to heat, it’s best to purchase ones which are displayed refrigerated. Select firm ones with dark to medium-green skin. Avoid any with wrinkles.
Websites with some cucumber recipes: