What’s an English cucumber and how exactly is it different from every other type of cucumber? Cucumber is from the family of Cucurbitaceae and it has up to 100 varieties and each of these cucumber varieties has its own characteristics.
However, the ones we are very familiar with are pickling and slicing. English cucumber is as well a fairly common variety of cucumber known. These common cucumber varieties come in different sizes, shapes, textures, as well as taste.
These different cucumbers can come in many seeds and other types have fewer seeds. Amongst all these cucumber types, English cucumber is also a cucumber variety that we are familiar with.
Let’s dig in further and find out about what’s an English cucumber.
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What Is An English Cucumber?
So what’s an English cucumber? An English cucumber can be called many different names such as seedless cucumbers, European cucumbers, burpless cucumbers, and hothouse or greenhouse cucumbers.
Cucumbers English is a cousin of pickling and slicing cucumbers. However, the English cucumber has a sparingly different shape and taste. The English cucumber is as well longer in length and it can range from around 10 to 12 inches long or even longer. They are the more slender variety and are often sold in plastic sleeves.
English cucumbers were literally bred to result in a cucumber variety that has less desirable features than the other variety has. It’s been bred to have fewer seeds, less tough outer skin, and less bitter-tasting cucumber.
Appearance Of The English Cucumber
The English cucumber appears long, thin, and straight. The length of this cucumber can be two times the length of a regular slicing cucumber. They can be as long as 14 inches.
The outer skin of the English cucumber is dark green and smooth and it has some ridges that run along the length of this fruit. There are often no bumps found on this cucumber. The inner part of the English cucumber is light green and at the center, the seeds are scattered in this fruit.
The skins of this English cucumber are pretty fragile and can be easily nicked or torn. This often makes them prone to mold. Hence, it is often packed in shrink wraps to protect the tender skin and also to prolong its shelf life.
Choosing English Cucumber Based On Appearance And Texture
You can purchase English cucumbers anytime because they are mostly sold all year round. However, they may be a bit expensive than the regular cucumbers. You can find them in the product section of your local grocer. You should find them wrapped and sold in plastics and are often labeled as seedless cucumbers.
When buying English cucumbers, you should select the ones that are firm as this is a strong clue of their freshness. Don’t go for the ones that are shrinking or limped.
Also, choose the ones that are evenly cylindrical and are around 10 to 15 inches long and 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
This cucumber variety tends to decay firstly at their ends. Therefore, you should squeeze the two ends gently to test for mushiness. Then you should feel for any soft spots by running your hand along with the whole vegetable. The English cucumber should have a firm feeling along its entire length.
The Taste And Texture Of English Cucumbers
This English cucumber has a more pleasant taste compared to the other regular cucumbers. This is mainly thanks to the fewer seeds English cucumber, unlike the regular cucumber that has more large seeds that contribute to its bitter-tasting flavor.
Because the skin of the English cucumber is thinner, it does not need to be peeled before eating or making use of it. You may not even need to remove them before eating them because the seeds are very tiny and easy to digest. All you need to do is just slice and serve your cucumber.
English Cucumber Applications
Most chefs and kitchen lovers usually favor the English cucumbers variety over the regular cucumbers in their cooking applications. This is mainly because of the edible skin and fewer edible seeds it offers. So, this makes the English cucumbers very easy to use and perfect for dishes such as salads, raw side dishes, and so on.
This cucumber variety is a mild and sweeter variety which makes them a perfect match for almost anything. You can pair them with onions, peppers, tomatoes, including any summary herbs. They are also great to be paired with fish, pork, lamb, chicken, and shellfish.
You can also get a rich and welcoming feel by incorporating them with dairy creamy products like cream cheese, yogurt, sour cream, feta, and goat cheese. You can also incorporate aromatic touches such as lemon, garlic, lime, capers, and olives to add a bit of punch.
The English cucumbers are also great for just slicing them in your fingers and enjoy them on their own. You can as well slice them and add them to your crudités platter or simply use them as a sandwich topping. You can as well enjoy them in your crunch tuna salad.
Storing English Cucumbers
The ideal way to store the English cucumbers is by refrigerating them in plastic wrap. This should last or stay fresh for around a week so far the moisture is retained.
Additionally, it’s advisable you avoid any humid vegetable drawer and put them in a dry spot in the fridge.
If you wish to make use of just one portion of the cucumber, simply open one end and pull back the plastic. Then cut off the amount or portion you require then rewrap the end with extra plastic. Make sure you only wash the portion of cucumber you are making use of.
English cucumber is another cucumber variety and they are also commonly known just like the slicing and pickling cucumbers. However, compared to the regular cucumbers, the English cucumbers have been bred to taste much better, have fewer seeds, have less tough skin, and have a less bitter taste.