Cucumbers are a versatile vegetable that may be eaten fresh or preserved. Slice cucumbers are the kind you eat fresh, while cucumbers with thick rough skins are better suited for pickling. Cucumbers are also divided into vine- or shrub-borne varieties based on their origin.
Depending on the cultivar, cucumbers come in a variety of lengths. Cucumbers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are long and slender, while others are short and obese. A slicing cucumber with long, green vines and a thin skin that grows well in greenhouses is called an English cucumber, for example. Kirby cucumbers are a crunchy, bumpy skinned variety of cucumber that is perfect for fresh or preserving.
Even if you have little space, you may cultivate your own cucumbers. Bush cucumbers, for example, thrive in pots and don’t take up much space. Planting vine cucumber varieties will result in a greater yield if you have a bigger vegetable garden.
You’ll learn about a variety of cucumber types in this article. You’ll discover out about salad cucumbers, pickles, salsa, fresh eating, and how to make amazing flavored water. You’ll learn more about burpless cucumbers in this section.
Types of Cucumbers (With Pictures and Names)
Botanically, cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) are classified as a fruit, which may surprise you. The Cucurbitaceae family, which includes watermelons, pumpkins, and zucchini, contains these long green “fruits.” In most nations across the globe, there are almost 100 cucumber varieties.
We’ll refer to cucumbers as such in this article since they’re commonly used as a fresh or pickled vegetable in the culinary world. Here are some of the types of cumbers available.
The Persian cucumber is a tiny cucumber with little seeds and smooth skin that is delicious when eaten fresh. The Persian cucumber is shorter than the English kind, but it is still suitable for fresh eating. The burpless cucumber has no bumpy skin, which is why it’s called Persian cucumber. A slicing cucumber like the Persian cucumber.
It lacks the bitter taste that some other cucumbers have because it doesn’t burp or produce seeds. As a result, Persian cucumbers have a reputation for having a fresh flavor and are one of the most common types of cucumber consumed. Persian cucumbers have a crunchy and firm texture, making them ideal for salads or serving as spears with a dip. When used in stir-fries or for pickling, these short, sturdy cucumbers stand up well.
The long, slender English cucumber with smooth dark-green shiny skin is another example of a burpless cucumber. The English cucumber is a sweet variety in comparison to many other kinds of cucumbers. The light crunchy flesh does not taste bitter because it contains little seeds. The English cucumber is one of the finest types of slicing cucumbers due to its thin skin and lengthy length.
English cucumbers grow significantly longer than Persian cucumbers, reaching lengths of 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm). A fully ripened Persian cucumber is around double this length. English cucumbers are distinguished from Persian cucumbers by having ridges running the length of their skin, in addition to their length.
Eat raw, slice up in sandwiches, chop up to add a crunch to salads, or slice in water to make cucumber water. The English cucumber is a great option. When used fresh in recipes, it has a mild flavor that won’t overpower others. The Telegraph Cucumber is a cucumber cultivar similar to the English variety.
This cucumber has a delightful flavor and thin edible skin that is seedless. The Telegraph cucumber thrives in greenhouses or out in the field, much as English cucumbers do.
Another kind of burpless cucumber plant with thin green skin and a sweet flavor is the Lebanese cucumber, which is a shorter variety. Plump Lebanese cucumbers are a seedless variety of cucumber that is similar to English cucumbers. They aren’t as lengthy as English varieties, though. Cucumbers from Lebanon are crunchy and delicious, making them ideal for slicing or pickling.
American (Garden) Cucumber
Garden cucumbers, often sold in North America, are a short and plump burpless cucumber. The thick skin of these common garden cucumbers is one of the things you’ll notice. Waxed skins are usually used to keep these cucumbers fresh in retail environments.
Additionally, this stumpy cucumber’s abundance of big seeds might give it a bitter flavor. Thus, before eating this crunchy vegetable raw, it’s recommended that you peel and remove the seeds. A slicing cucumber, such as a peeled, de-seeded garden cucumber, is ideal for salads and side dishes.
Kirby cucumbers are a great pickling cucumber that keeps its crunch well. They’re a short kind of cucumber. Kirby cucumbers are a delicious pickled cucumber for a variety of reasons. Smashy skin keeps the Kirby cucumber crunchy in pickling liquid, which is the first sign.
It’s also worth noting that in brine or pickling vinegar, their tough flesh stays firm. As a result, you get a distinct crunch with no mush when biting into a pickled Kirby cucumber. Kirby pickling cucumbers are also typically small enough to fit into a jar without being halves, due to their short length.
A Gherkin with spiky skin is called Cucumis anguria.
Gherkins, such as Cucumis anguria, are an unusual sort of tiny cucumber with rough skin and a crunchy texture. They are often employed for pickling. The Mexican sour gherkin (sometimes known as cucamelon) has a smooth skin and is another kind of gherkin.
The fruits of these vine-growing cucumbers are just 1.5 inches (4 cm) long and oval in shape. The tiny cucumbers have a powerful flavor that may be bitter as well. The term gherkins is used in English-speaking countries for pickled cucumbers, but the gherkin type of cucumber should not be confused with that. Gherkins are any kind of tiny or baby cucumber that has been pickled in a number of nations.
Mexican Sour Gherkins
The Cucurbitaceae family includes a variety of tiny species, including Mexican Sour Gherkins. Mexican Sour Gherkins are cucumber cousins, but not from the genus Cucumis. Mexican Sour gherkins are known as Melothria scabra in botany. Cucamelon, mouse melon, and Mexican sour cucumber are some of the other names for them.
Mexican sour cucumbers are fruits that seem like little watermelons but taste like cucumbers, which is an uncommon characteristic. You may eat fresh, straight off the vine, Mexican sour gherkins. You can also chop them up and use them in lieu of cucumbers in salads. You may substitute cucamelons for tomatoes in a salsa that is refreshing. Because they need minimal preparation and keep firm, these gherkins are ideal for pickling.
Armenian cucumbers are excellent slicing cucumbers that are excellent when eaten fresh. They have smooth (burpless) skin and grow on vines. Because of its extended length and curving form, this kind of cucumber is called a snake cucumber. When it is growing, Armenian cucumbers have dark green skin. It does, however, acquire a lighter, more yellow hue as it matures. The smooth (burpless) skin of the long, slender cucumber is adorned with pronounced ridges and pale green lines.
When the cucumber reaches a length of around 12 inches (30 cm), it is at its peak of deliciousness. You may employ this cucumber as a climbing variety of cucumber, even though it grows on the ground. Because of the long, twisted fruits, the long vines may climb up trellises and make it simple to harvest.
Armenian cucumbers are known as Cucumis melo var. Armenian. As compared to the common cucumber, it is more closely related to the muskmelon. Armenian cucumbers, either fresh or pickled in leaf salads, are delicious. They’re also available pickled or grilled.
Japanese Cucumbers (Kyuri)
Japanese cucumbers, also known as Kyuri, are among the greatest climbing cucumbers with rough skin that produce long narrow sweet fruits. This Japanese variety has dark-green skin that is rather thin, like other great slicing types of cucumbers. The fact that there are few seeds in this cucumber contributes to its sweetness. Japanese cucumbers have somewhat bumpy skin, unlike other slicers with smooth skin.
The fact that Japanese cucumbers retain their taste even when they grow to be quite long is another intriguing aspect. These cucumbers retain their delectable flavor even when they reach a length of 2 feet (60 cm). These small green cucumbers may be utilized in salads, sliced as sandwiches, or pickled.
The Korean cucumber, which is a very crunchy sweet cucumber, has somewhat rough skin. Korean cucumbers are a versatile vegetable that are equally delicious sliced and pickled. Salads or sliced into “fingers” to eat raw, their sweet crunch is delicious.
There is no bitterness when eating with their skins, as there is with other kinds of cucumbers. Their slightly uneven skin works well in pickling liquid, too. They stay crunchy and have a flavor after being pickled. Sprinkling sea salt on cucumber slices to extract moisture before briefly sautéing them with some sesame seeds is another method to slightly pickle them.
The Lemon cucumber is one of the most uncommon varieties of cucumber, with round yellow skin. Lemon cucumbers are spherical yellow fruits that are roughly the size of a tennis ball. Their flavor is devoid of any citrus characteristics and has a botanical name of Cucumis sativus ‘Lemon,’ despite their appearance.
The crispness and sweetness of lemon cucumbers are mild. Lemon cucumbers are thin and crunchy, so you can eat them fresh with their skins on. This kind of cucumber may also be pickled, which produces an unusual yet delicious treat.
Bush Champion Cucumber
The Bush Champion Cucumber produces a lot of sliced cucumber, so it’s a good option if you want to grow it. In a tiny area, the Bush Champion cucumber cultivar has been created to provide a excellent yield of sliced cucumbers. These cucumber plants may be grown in pots or in a tiny vegetable garden.
This burpless cucumber has a crisp, mild flavor when you bite into it. Its dark green skin covers it. The Bush Champion is not a cucumber that is small and thin. Green veggies have a fat appearance and can grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) long.
Iznik is a slender cucumber with thin skin, no seeds, and a crisp crunch when bitten into. It’s a miniature version of cucumbers. If you want a climbing variety, Iznik cucumbers are a good cucumber cultivar. Izniks are the finest kind of “lunch-box” cucumber, growing from 3″ to 4″ (7 to 10 cm) long. If you want to grow little cucumbers in your greenhouse, in patio pots, or have them climbing up trellises, Iznik cucumbers are some of the best cucumbers to grow.
Salt and Pepper Cucumbers
The white and black spines on the pale-yellow skin give Salt and Pepper cucumbers their name. One of the few cucumber cultivars that do not have green skin is this one, which comes from the Cucumis sativus species. The skin of this slicing cucumber is thin and pale yellow, and the flavor is fresh and crisp. Salt and Peppers have a greenish-yellow flesh with extremely few seeds, as opposed to other kinds of cucumbers that have light green to white meat.
Despite its capacity to slice, this cucumber pickles well and adds color to any dish. Fresh salads may be jazzed up by adding cucumber chopped or sliced. You may mix green-skinned crunchy cucumbers with lengthy triangular sections for dips.
Northern Pickling Cucumber
The Northern Pickling cucumber is a bumpy-skinned short cucumber that is mainly used for pickling. Northern Pickling cucumbers are vine cucumbers that aren’t as sprawling as some other vine cucumber varieties, and they’re short and stocky. This allows you to cultivate them on tiny vegetable patches or on short trellises with success. The skin of northern pickling varieties is covered in bumps and has yellowish-green veins running through it. They keep their crunch after being pickled because of their firm flesh and skin.
If you reside in colder climates with a short growing season, the Northern Pickling is one of the greatest pickling cucumbers to cultivate. Additionally, picking the stumpy green fruits is simple since cucumber vines produce tiny leaves. Of course, if you want to peel and eat the Northern Pickling cucumbers right away, they’re also fantastic.
Tyria cucumbers are a long green kind of seedless cucumber that produces a huge quantity of cucumbers and is simple to cultivate. These vine-covered cucumbers may reach a length of 14 inches (35 cm). Their dark-green skin has light ribbing down the length.
The hardy vines of this European cucumber variety produce a lot of cucumbers and are simple to maintain, which is one reason why it’s popular. Greenhouses and climbing trellises are ideal growing conditions for long green cucumbers.