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What Is an Apple Cucumber?

Madeleine A.
Madeleine A.

An apple cucumber is a type of cucumber that is grown in New Zealand and in some parts of Europe, and gets its name because of its resemblance to a green apple. This has a crispy, juicy flesh, very sweet taste, and can be eaten without peeling the skin off. After it ripens, it develops soft prickles or spines that are white. The general color of this cucumber, which is classified as a fruit and not a vegetable, is light green with occasional white markings from end to end. Although cucumber is not known for its nutritious value, the apple cucumber does contain small amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and iron.

The apple cucumber should be displayed in a grocery store's refrigerated produce compartment because this type of fruit is very susceptible to heat. The cucumbers should have round edges and possess a light green, unblemished appearance. If the cucumber appears wrinkled, yellow, or bruised it may not be fresh and should be avoided. When storing apple cucumbers at home, they should be refrigerated, and will keep for up to three days. Also, if only a portion of the cucumber has been used, the remaining portions should be tightly wrapped with plastic wrap or kept in an airtight container. If the fruit is kept out of the refrigerator for extended periods of time, it will wilt.

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Man mowing the grass

Apple cucumbers can be eaten raw or made into a dip. They can also be sauteed, steamed, and even stuffed like a zucchini. To stuff apple cucumbers, the seeds should be removed and then filled appropriately with a favorite stuffing. Soups can also be made with them and can be combined with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spices. The soup can either be served cold as a refreshing appetizer or slowly cooked with meat and chicken and served with warm bread for a hearty meal.

Another way that apple cucumbers can be enjoyed is to sautee them with butter for a few minutes. After the cucumber has been heated through, herbs such as fresh dill, parsley, chives, or mint can be added, as can fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper. In addition, the apple cucumber is very low in calories and is a good snack choice for those watching their caloric intake.

Discussion Comments


@ddljohn-- I think so. I think you can follow a basic cucumber pickle recipe to pickle apple cucumbers. Although I'm not sure what the taste will be like.

I personally like apple cucumbers sauteed fresh like zucchini. But if you have a lot of the fruit, pickling will be a good way to preserve them. It's not a good idea to freeze apple cucumbers. They will become soggy when just as regular cucumbers.


@Talentryto-- I love apple cucumbers although I'm not sure why they're called cucumbers. They don't look like cucumbers at all! They do taste mild like cucumbers and their seeds look similar, but the shape and color are so different. If anything they look like lemons and I think in some places, they're actually called "lemon cucumbers."

My dad grows them in his garden and he usually gives me a whole bag of them every year as he doesn't know what to do with them. I eat them fresh. I mostly juice them along with other fruits and veggies for extra fiber. The good part is that I can't even tell I have them in there because they taste fairly bland. But they're full of water so they're good for juicing.


Can I pickle apple cucumbers?

I had apple cucumbers on a trip to Europe last year, and I loved them. They are great raw by themselves, dipped in salad dressing, or served on salads. I haven't tried them cooked, but if I ever find them in a grocery store, I plan to do that.
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