Talley-Ho! English Cucumbers!

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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

prams.

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.

 

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