Eleven Fun Facts About Cucumbers
11 Fun Facts About Cucumbers
1. The scientific name for cucumbers is Cucumis sativus. It is part of the gourd family, also called the “cucurbitaceae” family, which means its closely related to squash, pumpkins, watermelon, zucchini, and other gourds. Cucumbers grow on a vine that starts in the ground and grows up a trellis, wall or other supporting frame. Its thin tendrils will wrap around almost anything as it grows upward.
2. Cucumbers are 95% water, so they have little nutritional value other than their high concentration of vitamin K (16% of daily value).
3. There are three main categories of cucumbers: slicing, pickling, and burpless. Slicing cucumbers are typically eaten raw, when they are green and unripe (at the mature yellow stage, the cucumber becomes too bitter for most people). Pickling cucumbers tend to be shorter and thicker than slicing cucumbers and are sliced and soaked in a liquid made of brine, sugar, vinegar, and other spices. Burpless cucumbers are sweeter than other varieties, and have a thinner skin. They are almost completely seedless and are marketed as “burp”-less because the seeds from the cucumber varieties are said to give some people gas.
4. In 2014, the world production of cucumbers was over 75 million tonnes (82 million tons), with China leading the production at 76% of the total.
5. The “cucumber blessing” is a blessing practiced at Buddhist temples in the summer. Priests and believers pray that they can pass the summer in good health, like fresh cucumbers.
6. Cucumbers are thought to have originated in India but quickly spread throughout the world. Historians have found mention of cucumbers very early on… People are described as eating cucumbers in the legend of Gilgamesh, cucumbers are listed among the foods of ancient Ur, they are part of a list of foods mentioned by the Israelites in the book of Numbers, and the ancient Greeks are thought to have grown them as well.
7. A manufacturer called “Mr. Q Cumber” produces a cucumber soda that “combines crisp cucumber flavor with sparkling water and pure cane sugar.”
8. While the term “pickle” generally refers to a pickled cucumber, there are many other types of pickled vegetables that are just as popular, including onions, red beets, peppers, olives and more.
9. “Koolickles” are a type of pickle enjoyed by kids in the United States, made by soaking dill pickles in Kool-Aid and pickle brine.
10. A “kosher” dill pickle is not kosher in the sense that it has been prepared under Jewish dietary regulations. It means the pickle has been prepared in the style of Jewish New York City pickle makers, with extra garlic and dill added to the brine.
11. In the United States, National Pickle Day is celebrated on November 14th.