Cucumbers are so everyday, we don’t take the time to think about them often. Actually, there are three major types. They can be the general salad or slicing cucumber or and the longer, more slender, frequently cellophane-wrapped, “burpless” cucumber. And the smallest, the Kirby, is for pickling. Botanically, cucumbers classify as fruits along with their brethren squash and tomatoes. In real life, however, we’d have a problem dealing with our cucumbers as fruits.
We are led to believe cucumbers were native to India 3,000 years ago. Over the years cucumbers’ presence spread to western Asia, down into the Mediterranean, over to France, up to the UK when Columbus carried seeds to the New World in the 15th century.
Cucumbers are a member of the Curcubita family along with squash, pumpkins and watermelons. Their common structure is a thin skin and a substantial wall of flesh surrounding web-held seeds either eaten or discarded.
Cucumbers are especially rich in vitamin K supported by a good amount of molybdenum and pantothenic acid.
Recipes frequently call for discarding the seeds of a cucumber, however, it should be pointed out that the nutritional benefit of cucumbers is higher the seeds than the outer wall of flesh. Continue reading