Saturday, November 21, 2009

Women can be so funny when they shop for produce, sometimes we would catch women eyeing the extra large cukes and they would nudge their girlfriend and have a laugh. They would pick them up and squeeze them and giggle and have a look of embarassment or laugh even harder if they noticed we were watching.

Produce clerks have to have a great sense of humor. We hear it all, "hey nice melons", "that's a lovely set of coconuts", "omg...don't let my wife see the size of that cucumber or she'll never look at me the same way again" and we take it all in stride with a smile. You gotta be happy and enjoy your job or we drag everyone down with our misery.

There are a lot of varieties of cucumbers available in your neighborhood stores today and I'm gonna talk about 4 of them...

Long English Cucumber

Long English Cukes are the most popular variety because they're seedless and the outer skin is soft so you don't have to peel it. Straight cukes are more expensive than crooked ones, they taste no different simply eye appeal. When you're buying any variety of cuke make sure the ends are green and firm, not yellow or soft. Green and firm means fresh.

Field aka Slicer Cucumber

Slicing aka "field", "slicers" cukes have lost their popularity because of their seeds, gas, and tough outer skin. There are now "burpless" varieties of cukes but I don't know any retailers that have a continuous supply available year round. Smooth skinned or bumpy, the taste is about the same. Usually the price is about 70% to 50% less than long english cukes.

Persian Seedless Cucumbers

Persian cukes are becoming very popular for those that can afford to pay twice the price of a long english cuke. The flavor and texture of a long english cuke and the crunch of a dill pickle. Nice combo.

Dill & Bread n' Butter Cucumbers

Dill cukes aka "bread n' butter", "pickling", "gherkins" are nice to eat fresh or pickled. The smaller ones have more crunch and last longer in your fridge. If you're gonna pickle them, many people put them in their washing machine to sit overnight in cold water to firm up and then turn on the gentle cycle to wash off the prickles. Saves a lot of time not scrubbing by hand. Cukes for pickling are fussy. Make sure there's no condensation on the bag if you're buying a large quantity for canning, cool and firm, not hot or soft when you squeeze them. Put your hand all the way through them to the bottom and make sure there's no field heat.


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