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What Are English Cucumbers?

English cucumbers are a variety of cucumber known for their long, slender shape, minimal seeds, and tender skin, which is often unwaxed, making them ideal for salads and sandwiches. Unlike regular cucumbers, they're typically sold in plastic wrap to maintain freshness. Intrigued by their unique qualities? Discover how English cucumbers can elevate your culinary creations.
Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

An English cucumber is a variety of cucumber that has edible skin. English cucumbers are usually narrower and longer than other kinds of cucumbers, and they are also called long English cucumbers. The taste of these cucumbers is often less bitter than many other varieties.

The main appeal of English cucumbers is that you don't have to peel them. This saves time and adds fiber. Of course, you should be sure to wash these types of cucumbers more thoroughly than you would would with other types since the skin will be eaten. The skin of an English cucumber is generally not as thick and hard as many varieties of cucumber.

English cucumbers are commonly sliced and served on salads.
English cucumbers are commonly sliced and served on salads.

If you run fork tines through the skin of this type of cucumber and then slice it, you'll have fluted edges that look quite pretty. Leave these slices whole on vegetable trays or halve them to add to salads. You can use either halves or whole slices marinated in a vinegrette for a cucumber salad and also add sliced onions if you wish. Quartered cucumber slices can add an attractive appeal as well as crunch to potato, egg or tuna salad. A few slices of cucumber make perfect garnishes for sandwiches of all kinds.

English cucumbers are often served with tuna.
English cucumbers are often served with tuna.

These cucumbers may be as long as two feet (0.61 m) when picked. This variety doesn't have a lot of seeds and the lack of seeds plus the tender skin tends to cause less gas production in the body than other varieties of cucumbers. The low number of seeds also adds to the relative sweetness of this variety as the seeds in cucumbers tend to create a bitter taste.

Seeds are less noticeable in English cucumbers than in slicing varieties.
Seeds are less noticeable in English cucumbers than in slicing varieties.

English cucumbers are more expensive than other cucumber varieties. They are sold in a plastic sleeve to protect their delicate skin and to keep their water content in. Many people don't mind paying extra for English cucumbers since the peel isn't being thrown away, the flavor is quite sweet and time is saved in not having to peel this variety.

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Discussion Comments

anon130764

These are great for juicing!

AuthorSheriC

Thanks for the tip, milagros!

milagros

If you grow your own cucumbers, you can actually grow burpless cucumbers. They are crisp and sweet. Even the skin is not bitter.

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    • English cucumbers are commonly sliced and served on salads.
      By: Kablonk Micro
      English cucumbers are commonly sliced and served on salads.
    • English cucumbers are often served with tuna.
      By: Comugnero Silvana
      English cucumbers are often served with tuna.
    • Seeds are less noticeable in English cucumbers than in slicing varieties.
      By: mates
      Seeds are less noticeable in English cucumbers than in slicing varieties.