Cucumbers are a refreshing fruit with hundreds of varieties that can be sliced or pickled.

"Slicing cucumbers" are meant to be eaten fresh and are larger with thicker skins. "Pickling cucumbers" are produced for eventual processing into pickles and are usually smaller with thinner, rough, and knobby skins. Cucumbers are loaded with phytonutrients that have valuable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. They’re very low in calories – a whole cup is only 15 calories! 

Armenian cucumbers: Botanically, this one is related to a melon. Long and slender with ridged dark green skin. Mild cucumber flavor.

Persian cucumbers: About 6 inches long, light green flesh with very few seeds, and a dark outer skin with ridges. It has a sweeter taste than regular cucumbers and without bitterness.

Lemon cucumbers: Less bitter than the regular cucumber, round and pale yellow in color with thin, tender skin with a flavor a little milder than a regular cucumber. Name refers to the color, not the flavor.

Pickling cucumbers: Small, short and squat with bumpy skin. Pale green flesh with a crisp texture, and used, obviously, to make pickles. Can be eated fresh as well.

Japanese cucumber: Slim with wart-like, bumpy outer skin, usually a dark green. Flesh is pale green and sweeter with minimal seeds.

"Cool as a cucumber" is true! Cucumbers are degrees cooler inside that the temperature outside!

The Lowdown

  • Season
  • Color
    Dark Green
  • Select
    For general green cucumbers, choose firm, dark green cucumbers that do not have soft spots and wrinkled skins. Avoid those that have a dull color, starting to turn yellowish.
  • Store
    Cucumbers should be stored in the refrigerator and are best if used within one week.

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