What Are English Cucumbers?

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.

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

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.

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

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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.

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.

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.

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

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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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