Cool, refreshing English cucumbers are here! So raise your pinkies in
the air and pass the cucumber sandwiches at your next High Tea.
Cucumbers hail from India, a mix of colonialism and Mad Dogs and
Englishmen in the noon-day sun have made cucumber sandwiches into an
effete repast. So if your mood is more Ernest and you have no humor
for Oscar Wilde—then shred your cucumber for a refreshing
raita, another Indian tradition. Raita is yogurt, cucumber, garlic,
lemon juice, and spices combined in a cooling dish.
The cucumbers in your TakeHome box this week are European, or English,
cucumbers (cucumis sativus), a thin-skinned, practically seedless
variety. This makes this fruit ideal for salad or cold soups. Fruit?
Technically a cucumber is parthenocarpic and sets fruit without
pollination. In order to achieve this kind of tenderness, they are
grown by TK GROWER in greenhouses, the tradition with the English
variety. Back in Jolly Olde England, an abundance of coal made it
possible to heat greenhouses to grow this favorite year around. The
ancient Romans were so cucumber crazy they shuttled the plants out
daily into the sun in wagons, like little babies taking fresh air in
To prepare cukes, just rinse under cold water. Cucumbers from The
FruitGuys are not waxed. The skin is so thick that you
don’t have to peel it. Slice or grate as desired. If you like
firm half moon slices, cut the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the
center with a teaspoon, then slice. Sprinkle with sea salt and vinegar
or dip in a dill and sour cream mixture.