Table of content A-Z

 

cucumber

 

Botanical name: Cucumis sativus


Gurke

 

Cucumbers were grown more than 4000 years ago on the south slopes of the Himalayas. However, the cucumber was not known in northern Europe until the Middle Ages. Botanically speaking, it is a berry. Today, the cucumber is common in almost all tropical, subtropical and Mediterranean regions. Cucumbers are grown predominantly in greenhouses, mainly in the Netherlands, and in only a few areas outdoors.


Availability


Cucumbers can be bought throughout the year. They are especially abundant from June to October.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


Most cucumbers are green, but there are also yellow and white varieties. The surface of the cucumber is smooth or sulcate.

Cucumbers are classed as salad cucumbers or cucumbers suitable for pickling (gherkins), according to their use.

Salad cucumbers come mainly from greenhouses. They are up to 40 cm long, mostly symmetrically shaped and straight. The skin is dark green and the pulp is light green. In the middle of the fruit there are numerous small, soft sperm nuclei, or seeds. The typical cucumber aroma is not noticeable until the fruit is cut.

Pickling cucumbers are grown outdoors more frequently than salad cucumbers. They are smaller, may have a smooth or a spiny skin, and are used almost exclusively by the food industry for pickling. They are then sold as pickled gherkins, dill pickles, cornichons and the like.


Ingredients


100 g contain:

Cucumber,
fresh
Cucumber,
tinned
Energie (kcal)
12
12
Wasser (g)
96
95
Eiweiß (g)
1
1
Fett (g)
< 1
< 1
Kohlenhydrate (g)
2
2
Ballaststoffe (g)
< 1
< 1
Vitamin C (mg)
8
3
Vitamin A (RÄ) (µg)
66
36
Folsäure (µg)
20
7
Kalium (mg)
141
106
Natrium (mg)
8
317
Calcium (mg)
15
15
Magnesium (mg)
8
10
Eisen (mg)
0,5
0,4



Harmful substances


Cucumbers contain very few harmful substances. With less than 500 mg per kg they have hardly any nitrate.


Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions


If salad cucumbers have turned yellow or yield to slight pressure, it is better to leave them in the store.

Cucumbers are very sensitive to cold and should not be stored below 8–10°C. Damage from the cold is manifested as watery, sunken spots on the skin. Cucumbers should not be stored together with fruits (e.g. applies) or vegetables (e.g. tomatoes) that give off ethylene, because they will become overripe very quickly and turn yellow. The food industry shrink-wraps them in order to increase their storage life.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


Salad cucumbers are used primarily for salads, either alone or together with other vegetables such as tomatoes, leaf lettuce, beans, and peppers and seasoned with dill and other herbs. The gourmet will find a large number of recipes for cucumber salad.

Cucumbers can be eaten peeled or unpeeled. They quickly produce juice when they are cut, especially when they are salted. The juice should always be consumed with the cucumber to avoid losing the nutrients. Cucumbers are best salted just before they are to be eaten.

Tasty alternatives are cucumbers prepared as soup, cold soup, gratinéed, braised and filled.

Pickling cucumbers are delivered to the food industry and are pickled according to various recipes.


Seasoning tip


Dill, borage, chives, parsley, and garlic are good seasonings for cucumbers.


Miscellaneous


# Test whether the cucumber tastes bitter in the region of the stem; this is where some of the original bitterness of the cucumber occasionally remains. Cut away a generous portion. Peel the cucumber from the end towards the stem to avoid spreading the bitter principles further.

# Used topically, for example as a face mask, cucumbers refresh the skin.

 

 

_________________________

 

  This article was written by

         

 


 

  With the website www.the-green-pantry.com the Fritz Terfloth Foundation of Münster offers consumers independent and competent information about plant foods and their health effects. All texts are subject to German copyright law. Information about the conditions for use of the texts by third parties can be found here.


Auf Ihrem System scheint kein FlashPlayer installiert zu sein oder es ist
ein Update des Players notwendig. Sie können den Player hier herunterladen: