If there is one thing you should know about cucumbers it should be that they are not vegetables and they are not green. At least when you wait for them to be ripe. When fully grown and developed, cucumbers, being botanically fruits, usually change their color from green, which in nature is the marker of unripe produce, to lovely orange. But we humans once decided to treat these fruits as vegetables, in culinary perspective, hence their premature harvest. But they are in a big family with different sweet melons and watermelons. If you ever see some Asian varieties of cucumbers (or cukes), you’ll find them strikingly similar to their sweet relatives in a way their skin is textured or ruled.
But we don’t like these fruits fully ripe. When they are in this state, their fresh, bright, grassy aroma is usually lost. Instead, you can get soggy, wrinkled, soft cucumbers. Probably, not many of you would want to eat such. But those who grow them know that fully mature fruits can make it to the best relish ever. It’s an easy recipe when cucumbers are peeled, cut, shredded in a food processor, combined with vinegar/spices, boiled and canned. Have you ever tried putting relish on your hot dog? You should, really.
For those who think this is too classic a preparation, we can suggest you try making your own homemade cucumber soda. At first it sounds disgusting, but then you recall it’s actually a fruit, and everything is back to normal again. The phrase “cool as a cucumber” takes on a whole new meaning with this recipe. You’ll need to make a simple syrup (1 part water, 1 part sugar brought to a boil and cooled). Then take ½ cup of it and mix with juice of two cucumbers and one medium lemon, 1 ½ cups of soda and a pinch of salt. Mix everything well and transfer to a shaker in batches. Shake well with some ice and serve chilled.
Have you ever met rice with cucumbers, a dish called hosomaki? It’s simply sushi rolls from your nearest Japanese place. It’s a staple, loved by many purists. But did you know that they serve practically the same dish in the UK. Only do they make it sandwiched between two crustless lightly buttered bread. Traditional cucumber sandwich – just white bread, cucumbers and butter.
If you feel really lazy, you definitely should be doing something as easy as 1-2-3. So, we say you’d want to squeeze some of your cucumbers. Don’t forget they are mostly water – 98%! And whip yourself a quick Bloody Mary with fresh juice. Enjoy.