Cucumber -

One of the most popular of salad vegetables. It is somewhat indigestible, but when properly prepared and dressed - with plenty of oil - it may be eaten without the slightest fear of evil consequences. The rind is considered poisonous, so paring should be thorough and deep.

Cucumbers when marketed should be crisp and firm to the touch. For sale fresh, they are selected according to both ripeness and size, the latter varying greatly with different varieties. For general pickling, they are gathered when from 2 1/2 to 5 inches long. Very small pickled cucumbers are known as Gherkins (which see).

dill pickles are made either from fresh or salted cucumbers - the former being considered the choicer, but the latter having better keeping qualities. The dill pickling process employs pickled dill seed or herb and "dill spice" - composed of allspice, black pepper, coriander seed and bay leaves - in addition to the brine.

The English cucumber, of which there is a small sale in Eastern markets, is round instead of triangular like the American, generally very much longer in proportion to diameter, more uniformly green and with very little seed.

In England and the Continent, cucumbers are often boiled in thick sections and served with hot butter or cream sauce.

Arround Cucumber in The Grocer's Encyclopedia

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