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What Are Slicing Cucumbers?

A slicing cucumber.
Slicing cucumbers on the vine.
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  • Written By: Lakshmi Sandhana
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 02 July 2014
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Slicing cucumbers are cultivated to be consumed fresh. Some other types cultivated commercially are those grown to be pickled and a type called burpless, which produces less gas when consumed. These cucumbers are typically sliced and find use in sandwiches and salads. They usually have dark green skins that are sometime peeled before consumption.

Farmers harvest slicing cucumbers when they reach a length of around 8 inches (20 cm). Known also as ridge or hill types, these cucumbers are bigger and longer and have thicker skins than pickling cucumbers, which are shorter. Uniformly colored, their skins may be ridged or smooth. They are also cheaper in comparison. Their thicker skins make them more damage resistant, and they can be shipped or handled easily.

These unripe cucumbers have pale green flesh with many edible seeds and are delicious to serve in salads. If they are allowed to ripen, they become yellow in color and quite sour in taste. Gardeners can easily grow slicing cucumbers in home gardens. There are many different types of slicing cucumbers that are bred to have nonbitter, thin skins that don't require any peeling. Cylindrical in shape, their flesh can be quite crunchy and watery.

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Green, long slicing cucumbers are found in many supermarkets. Gardeners specially cultivate certain varieties that have slow seed development. Cucumbers form on vines, and gardeners harvest them as and when they need them. Typically, they pluck the cucumbers when they have reached a certain size to prevent them from becoming woody. Gardeners are aware that big cucumbers left to grow on a vine too long may prevent new cucumbers from growing.

If they grow for too long a time, these cucumbers may develop very large seeds, thicker skins, and more bitter-tasting flesh. When growing cucumbers at home, gardeners pluck them at the recommended size for each type. The Bush Slicer cucumber is a hybrid type of slicing cucumber that is resistant to scabs and powdery mildew. With small seed cavities and crisp, delicious flesh, this cucumber can be easily grown in compact containers.

Straight Eight cucumber vines are very prolific, and they produce fruit that is around 10 inches (25 cm) or less. The Corinto cucumber variety grows well in a wide range of temperatures and is resistant to angular leaf blight and cucumber mosaic virus. Dasher II, Pot Luck, and Marketmore are some other types of popular slicing cucumbers. Some other hybrids that produce fruit quite well are the Raider, Babylon, and Fountain varieties.

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Discuss this Article

ZipLine
Post 3

I know that the longer cucumbers are slicing cucumbers meant for eating fresh and the shorter, fatter ones are meant for pickling. But what about the medium sized ones? How do I know if they're slicing cucumbers or not?

turquoise
Post 2

@literally45-- Those are called English cucumbers and yes, they're good in salads. English cucumbers have great skin, it's very flat and smooth and looks good when sliced. But I actually think that they also taste fairly bland. Kirby cucumbers are the most delicious slicing cucumbers in my opinion. Some people make pickles with them, but they're also salad cucumbers and taste great fresh. This actually the main type of cucumber eaten in the Mediterranean region.

The worst slicing cucumbers have to be garden cucumbers. They are the bland, watery ones with large seeds that you mentioned. You always have to peel them because they put a weird gloss over them at farms and sometimes they're bitter. They're also the cheapest cucumbers available.

literally45
Post 1

What is the name of the super long and thin cucumber that is sold at the grocery store? It's sold individually and wrapped in plastic.

This is the only type of slicing cucumber I like. The other kinds are too watery, bland and they have too many seeds. This long cucumber tastes better, has small seeds and less water. It's perfect for salads. The only downside is that it costs more.

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