Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cucumber Sandwiches and Salad Cream

The traditional English cucumber tea-sandwiches consist of sliced cucumber on white bread spread with butter, with the crusts cut off and salad cream!!! Salad cream is a separate post in itself, so for now I will just stick with cucumbers. So, what is the difference between an "English" cucumber and the cucumber over in the USA? First off all, there are about 100 varieties of cucumbers cultivated around the world. About a third of them are for pickling. The remainder includes varieties that are best cooked and a number that are more popular in Asia or Europe than here.

There is nothing wrong with the common slicing cucumber you find over here, if you like seeds!!! but the English cucumber in my opinion is so much better: It is usually sold wrapped in plastic, this reduces water loss, and it is usually not waxed and therefore does not need peeling. It goes by the name of an English cucumber or it is also called seedless, which is not completely true, but unlike the cucumbers I find over here the seeds are edible, they are not hard but very soft and are much smaller. The seeds in a cucumber (and especially in an aging cucumber) are what makes it bitter, so a semi-seedless English cucumber is less likely to be bitter It has been bred to be more easily digested than some other varieties (Less burps). However over here is is much more expensive than regular cucumbers.

Now I did have the grand idea of growing some English cucumbers from seed, thinking that the summer is warmer and generally longer than an English summer so this would mean that I maybe would not need to grow them in a greenhouse which is the usual way in England. I have looked everywhere for seeds and if I am correct Telegraph Cucumbers are the ones that I can remember my dad growing in his garden at home, so I think they would be OK to grow here, but alas I just cannot seem to find any English cucumber seeds in the shops around here. There are so many different varieties of cucumbers for sale but not good old English cucumbers. So if anyone reading this knows where I can buy some English Cucumber seeds then please let me know.


  1. Oh dear, I'm afraid I'm of no help. My uncle and brothers garden every year. I'll ask them.

  2. I found these seeds, but it says not recommended for outdoor sowing.


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