Food Guts - Ingredient Information

Ingredient Lookup

Cucumber

Nutritional Information

1/2 cup slices, cucumber

  • Calories 8
  • Calories from Fat 0.54
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 0.06g0%
  • Saturated Fat 0.018g0%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.002g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.028g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 1mg0%
  • Potassium 76mg2%
  • Total Carbohydrate 1.89g1%
  • Dietary Fiber 0.3g1%
  • Sugars 0.87g
  • Protein 0.34g1%
  • Calcium 1mg0%
  • Iron 1mg6%
  • Vitamin A 1%
  • Vitamin C 2%

When In Season:

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    Virginia: June (early) - October (late)
    Washington: June (early) - August (late)
    Wisconsin: July (late) - September (early)

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Cucumber on Wikipedia:

This article is about the fruit. For other uses, see Cucumber (disambiguation). Cucumber Cucumbers grow on vines Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Division: Magnoliophyta Class: Magnoliopsida Order: Cucurbitales Family: Cucurbitaceae Genus: Cucumis Species: C. sativus Binomial name Cucumis sativus L. Cucumber, with peel, raw Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) Energy 65 kJ (16 kcal) Carbohydrates 3.63 g Sugars 1.67 g Dietary fiber 0.5 g Fat 0.11 g Protein 0.65 g Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.027 mg (2%) Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.033 mg (2%) Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.098 mg (1%) Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.259 mg (5%) Vitamin B6 0.040 mg (3%) Folate (Vit. B9) 7 μg (2%) Vitamin C 2.8 mg (5%) Calcium 16 mg (2%) Iron 0.28 mg (2%) Magnesium 13 mg (4%) Phosphorus 24 mg (3%) Potassium 147 mg (3%) Zinc 0.20 mg (2%) Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient database

The cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and in the same genus as the muskmelon.

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Botany

The cucumber is a creeping vine that roots in the ground and grows up trellises or other supporting frames, wrapping around ribbing with thin, spiraling tendrils. The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit.

The fruit is roughly cylindrical, elongated, with tapered ends, and may be as large as 60 cm long and 10 cm in diameter. Cucumbers grown to be eaten fresh (called slicers) and those intended for pickling (called picklers) are similar. Cucumbers are mainly eaten in the unripe green form. The ripe yellow form normally becomes too bitter and sour. Cucumbers are usually over 90% water.

Having an enclosed seed and developing from a flower, cucumbers are scientifically classified as fruits. Much like tomatoes and squash, however, their sour-bitter flavor contributes to cucumbers being perceived, prepared and eaten as vegetables, which is the accepted culinary term[citation needed].

Various myths have arisen with regard to how bitterness may be removed from cucumbers. Among these myths includes slicing off the ends of a cucumber, and rubbing the now-exposed ends of said cucumber with the sliced-off ends until it appears to froth. Another such urban legend states that one ought to peel a cucumber away from the end that was once attached to a vine, otherwise one risked spreading the bitterness throughout the cucumber.[1]

Cucumber and cross section

Flowering and pollination

A few varieties of cucumber are parthenocarpic, the blossoms creating seedless fruit without pollination. Pollination for these varieties degrades the quality. In the US, these are usually grown in greenhouses, where bees are excluded. In Europe, they are grown outdoors in some regions, and bees are excluded from these areas. Most cucumber varieties, however, are seeded and require pollination. Thousands of hives of honey bees are annually carried to cucumber fields just before bloom for this purpose. Cucumbers may also be pollinated by bumblebees and several other bee species.

Symptoms of inadequate pollination include fruit abortion and misshapen fruit. Partially pollinated flowers may develop fruit which are green and develop normally near the stem end, but pale yellow and withered at the blossom end.

Traditional varieties produce male blossoms first, then female, in about equivalent numbers. New gynoecious hybrid cultivars produce almost all female blossoms. However, since these varieties do not provide pollen, they must have interplanted a pollenizer variety and the number of beehives per unit area is increased. Insecticide applications for insect pests must be done very carefully to avoid killing off the insect pollinators.

Taste

This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2008) Pickling cucumbers

There appears to be variability in the human olfactory response to cucumbers, with the majority of people reporting a mild, almost watery flavor or a light melon taste, while a small but vocal minority report a highly repugnant taste, some say almost perfume-like. The presence of the organic compound phenylthiocarbamide is believed to cause the bitter taste.

Pickling

Main article: Pickled cucumber

Cucumbers can be pickled for flavor and longer shelf life. As compared to eating cucumbers, pickling cucumbers tend to be shorter, thicker, less regularly-shaped, and have bumpy skin with tiny white- or black-dotted spines. They are never waxed. Color can vary from creamy yellow to pale or dark green. Pickling cucumbers are sometimes sold fresh as “Kirby” or “Liberty” cucumbers. The pickling process removes or degrades much of the nutrient content, especially that of vitamin C. Pickled cucumbers are soaked in brine or a combination of vinegar and brine, although not vinegar alone, often along with various spices. Pickled cucumbers are often referred to simply as ``pickles`` in the U.S. or ``Gherkins`` or ``Wallies`` in the U.K, the latter name being more common in the north of England where it refers to the large vinegar-pickled cucumbers commonly sold in fish & chip shops. (Although the gherkin is of the same species as the cucumber it is of a completely different cultivar).

Varieties

Indian Vegetable Salad containing Lemon, Tomato, Radish, Beetroot, Cucumber and Green Chillies Dosakai is a round, yellow, cucumber seen here at a market in Guntur, India. English cucumbers can grow as long as 2 feet (0.61 m). They are nearly seedless, have a delicate skin which is pleasant to eat, and are sometimes marketed as “Burpless”, because the seeds and skin of other varieties of cucumbers can give some people gas[citation needed]. East Asian cucumbers are mild, slender, deep green, and have a bumpy, ridged skin. They can be used for slicing, salads, pickling, etc., and are available year-round. Mediterranean cucumbers are small, smooth-skinned and mild. Like the English cucumber, Mediterranean cucumbers are nearly seedless. 'Armenian cucumbers' (also known as yard long) has very long ribbed fruit with a thin skin that does not require peeling, but is not technically a cucumber. Persian Cucumber, better known as Mini seedless cucumbers, available from Canada during the summer, and all year-round from the Dominican. Increasing its popularity 30 to 40% a year. Easy to cut on average 5-8 in. long. Beit Alpha cucumbers are small, sweet cucumbers adapted to the dry climate of the Middle East Pickling cucumbers - Although any cucumber can be pickled, commercial pickles are made from cucumbers specially bred for uniformity of length-to-diameter ratio and lack of voids in the flesh. Slicers grown commercially for the North American market are generally longer, smoother, more uniform in color, and have a much tougher skin. Slicers in other countries are smaller and have a thinner, more delicate skin. In North America, the term “wild cucumber” refers to manroot. Dosakai is a yellow cucumber available in parts of India. These fruits are generally spherical in shape. It is commonly cooked as curry, added in Sambar/Soup, Daal and also in making Dosa-Aavakaaya(Indian Pickle) and Chutney. Kekiri is a smooth skinned cucumber relatively hard and not used for salads. It is cooked as spicy curry. It is found in dry zone of Sri Lanka. It becomes orange colored when the fruit is matured. In May 2008, British supermarket chain