What Is an English Cucumber?

What Is an English Cucumber? Did you know that an English cucumber is the fine and delicate cousin of the more common American slicing cucumber? Learn why it’s special—and superior for tea sandwiches.

What Is an English Cucumber?

English cucumbers are nut- and seed-free, so they present less of a potential health risk than many other types of cucumbers. They’re about a 14 inches long, about 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, have few seeds and are grown to get their characteristic shape.

They’re also self-pollinating which allows them to be grown indoors in greenhouses without the help of animals or wind. You’ll probably find just one type at the supermarket, but it’s possible you might find other varieties at a farmer’s market or nursery.

  • English Business Flat Young Traditional White
  • English Long Sweet Crunch Hybrid Cucumber
  • High-quality English Long Telegraphes are a great heirloom.
  • Chelsea prize hybrid english cucumber
  • Sweet Success English Hybrid Cucumber

The English cucumber has been passed down for more than 200 years thanks to the crossing of a French and an American varietal. This vegetable comes in a variety of varieties with country- or region-specific names. Here are some others you may be lucky enough to find regions, like these: English cucumbers, English parsnips, watercress, lavender and thyme.

  • Cucumber
  • The Armenian cucumber is a great bridge between the lemon and the mint.
  • Pershian cucumber
  • Cucamelon
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Sour-tasting, tangy, and red in color, cucumbers are a staple of many Mexican recipes. In some regions of Mexico, these vegetables are cooked in a spicy sauce or salsa.
  • Russian-style cucumber
  • Cucumber in Paris
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Cucumbers are on a lot of dishes in India. They’re used in many different recipes and eaten raw in salads or cooked for a yogurt-based condiment with raita.

English Cucumber vs Cucumber

The American slicing cucumber is relatively standard among US supermarkets. Compared to an English one, it has a thicker skin, the seeds are much larger, and the fruit may be shorter than four inches in diameter. The difference in skin and size help explain why it can be worthwhile to spend more money on an English cucumber — especially if you want something like a tea sandwich or balsamic salad made with them.

Why Are English Cucumbers Wrapped in Plastic?

By the time you reach your grocery store’s produce section, it’s easy to spot English cucumbers. These thin-skinned fruits have their own plastic wrap just in case they get bruised or dry during transit. Their tender skin makes for a less bitter flavor and helps them avoid the wax coating you’ll typically find on American slicing cukes.

English cucumbers are typically found in the produce section. They have a thin skin, and their moisture content leaves them with a less bitter flavor, so they don’t develop a wax coating like American slicing cukes might.

It’s easy to spot English cucumbers at the grocery store. They are usually sold in a plastic wrap and come no sooner than they’re picked to allow their skin to stay tender and uncoated. Their less-bitter flavor means they won’t be as dry or bitter when sliced, making them ideal for your salad dressings or recipes.

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English cucumbers are different than American slicing cucumbers in a few ways. Their thin-skinned fruits don’t bruise during transport, and their tender skin allows for a less bitter flavor. When they’re peeled, their skin makes for easy peeling and less waxing with the American varieties.

English cucumbers are easy to spot – they have their own plastic wraps just in case they get damanged or dry during transit, which is nice if you’re trying to avoid wax. They also have tender skin that doesn’t result in bitterness.

The English cucumber is easy to spot in the grocery store’s produce section. These fruits have a thin, tender skin and are covered with plastic wrap in case they get bruised or dry during transit. This helps you avoid the bitter taste you’ll typically find on American slicing cucumbers.