Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. It is a creeping vine that bears cucumiform fruits that are used as vegetables. There are three main varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling, and seedless. Within these varieties, several cultivars have been created. In North America, the term "wild cucumber" refers to plants in the genera Echinocystis and Marah, but these are not closely related. The cucumber is originally from South Asia, but now grows on most continents. Many different types of cucumber are traded on the global market.
|Cucumbers growing on vines|
|Photograph of a single cucumber fruit|
|Cucumber, with peel, raw|
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||65 kJ (16 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||0.5 g|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.|
The cucumber is a creeping vine that roots in the ground and grows up trellises or other supporting frames, wrapping around supports with thin, spiraling tendrils. The plant may also root in a soilless medium and will sprawl along the ground if it does not have supports. The vine has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruits. The fruit of typical cultivars of cucumber is roughly cylindrical, but elongated with tapered ends, and may be as large as 60 centimeters (24 in) long and 10 centimeters (3.9 in) in diameter. Botanically speaking, the cucumber is classified as a pepo, a type of botanical berry with a hard outer rind and no internal divisions. Much like tomato and squash, it is often perceived, prepared and eaten as a vegetable. Cucumber fruits consist of 95% water (see nutrition table).
A few cultivars of cucumber are parthenocarpic, the blossoms creating seedless fruit without pollination. Pollination for these cultivars degrades the quality. In the United States, 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 cultivars, 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. Most cucumbers that require pollination are self-incompatible, so pollen from a different plant is required to form seeds and fruit. Some self-compatible cultivars exist that are related to the 'Lemon' cultivar. Symptoms of inadequate pollination include fruit abortion and misshapen fruit. Partially pollinated flowers may develop fruit that are green and develop normally near the stem end, but are pale yellow and withered at the blossom end.
Traditional cultivars produce male blossoms first, then female, in about equivalent numbers. Newer gynoecious hybrid cultivars produce almost all female blossoms. They may have a pollenizer cultivar interplanted, and the number of beehives per unit area is increased, but temperature changes induce male flowers even on these plants, which may be sufficient for pollination to occur.
|NCBI genome ID|
|Genome size||323.99 Mb|
|Organelle size||244.82 Mb|
|Year of completion||2011|
In a 100-gram serving, raw cucumber (with peel) is 95% water, provides 67 kilojoules (16 kilocalories) and supplies low content of essential nutrients, as it is notable only for vitamin K at 16% of the Daily Value (table).
In 2009, an international team of researchers announced they had sequenced the cucumber genome.
In general cultivation, cucumbers are classified into three main cultivar groups: "slicing", "pickling", and "burpless".
Cucumbers grown to eat fresh are called slicing cucumbers. The main varieties of slicers mature on vines with large leaves that provide shading. They are mainly eaten in the unripe green form, since the ripe yellow form normally becomes bitter and sour. 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, often having fewer seeds and being sold in a plastic skin for protection. Sometimes these are known as English cucumbers. This variety may also be called a "telegraph cucumber", particularly in Australasia. Smaller slicing cucumbers can also be pickled.
Pickling with brine, sugar, vinegar, and spices creates various, flavored products from cucumbers and other foods. 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. Those cucumbers intended for pickling, called picklers, grow to about 7 to 10 cm (3 to 4 in) long and 2.5 cm (1 in) wide. Compared to slicers, picklers tend to be shorter, thicker, less regularly shaped, and have bumpy skin with tiny white or black-dotted spines. Color can vary from creamy yellow to pale or dark green.
Gherkins, also called cornichons, baby dills, or baby pickles, are small, whole, unsliced cucumbers, typically those 1 inch (2.5 cm) to 5 inches (13 cm) in length, often with bumpy skin, and pickled in variable combinations of brine, vinegar, spices, and sugar. In the United Kingdom, gherkins may be prepared predominantly in vinegar, imparting an acidic flavor "punch" as a side-dish for meals.
Although gherkins may be grown in greenhouses, they are commonly grown as a field crop, processed locally, and packaged in jars in Canada, the United States, and India. India, Turkey, Ukraine and Mexico compete as producers for the global gherkin market, with the European Union, United States, Canada, and Israel as major importers.
The word gherkin derived in the mid-17th century from early modern Dutch, gurken or augurken for "small pickled cucumber". The term, West Indian gherkin, has been applied to Cucumis anguria L., a related species of Cucumis sativus, the most common cucumber plant.
Burpless cucumbers are sweeter and have a thinner skin than other varieties of cucumber. They are reputed to be easy to digest and to have a pleasant taste. They can grow as long as 2 feet (0.61 m), are nearly seedless, and have a delicate skin. Most commonly grown in greenhouses, these parthenocarpic cucumbers are often found in grocery markets, shrink-wrapped in plastic. They are sometimes marketed as seedless or burpless, because the seeds and skin of other varieties of cucumbers are said to give some people gas.
Several other cultivars are sold commercially :
Depending on variety, cucumbers may have a mild melon aroma and flavor, in part resulting from unsaturated aldehydes, such as (E,Z)-nona-2,6-dienal, and the cis- and trans- isomers of 2-nonenal. The slightly bitter taste of cucumber rind results from cucurbitacins.
|Production of cucumbers and gherkins, 2016|
|Country||(millions of tonnes)|
The cucumber originated in India, where a great many varieties have been observed, from Cucumis hystrix. It has been cultivated for at least 3,000 years, and was probably introduced to other parts of Europe by the Greeks or Romans. Records of cucumber cultivation appear in France in the 9th century, England in the 14th century, and in North America by the mid-16th century.
The cucumber is listed among the foods of ancient Ur, and the legend of Gilgamesh describes people eating cucumbers. Cucumbers are mentioned in the Bible as one of the foods eaten by the Israelites in Egypt. From India, it spread to Greece (where it was called "σίκυον", síkyon) and Italy (where the Romans were especially fond of the crop), and later into China.
Robert Daniel, in discussing an ostracon dated to the second half of the third century AD, has suggested identifying an otherwise unknown word, ολγιττα, with the Arabic al-qitta', the common word for cucumber.
According to Pliny, the Emperor Tiberius had the cucumber on his table daily during summer and winter. The Romans reportedly used artificial methods (similar to the greenhouse system) of growing to have it available for his table every day of the year. "Indeed, he was never without it; for he had raised beds made in frames upon wheels, by means of which the cucumbers were moved and exposed to the full heat of the sun; while, in winter, they were withdrawn, and placed under the protection of frames glazed with 'mirrorstone' ." 'Mirrorstone' is a literal translation of Pliny's 'lapis specularis', believed to have been sheet mica.
Pliny the Elder describes the Italian fruit as very small, probably like a gherkin, describing it as a wild cucumber considerably smaller than the cultivated one. Pliny also describes the preparation of a medication known as elaterium, though some scholars believe he was referring to Ecballium elaterium, known in pre-Linnean times as "Cucumis silvestris" or "Cucumis asininus" ("wild cucumber" or "donkey cucumber"), a species different from the common cucumber. Pliny also writes about several other varieties of cucumber, including the cultivated cucumber, and remedies from the different types (9 from the cultivated, 5 from the "anguine", and 26 from the "wild"). The Romans are reported to have used cucumbers to treat scorpion bites, bad eyesight, and to scare away mice. Wives wishing for children wore them around their waists. They were also carried by midwives, and thrown away when the child was born.
Charlemagne had cucumbers grown in his gardens in the 8th/9th century. They were reportedly introduced into England in the early 14th century, lost, then reintroduced approximately 250 years later. The Spaniards (through the Italian Christopher Columbus) brought cucumbers to Haiti in 1494. In 1535, Jacques Cartier, a French explorer, found “very great cucumbers” grown on the site of what is now Montreal.
Throughout the 16th century, European trappers, traders, bison hunters, and explorers bartered for the products of American Indian agriculture. The tribes of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains learned from the Spanish how to grow European crops. The farmers on the Great Plains included the Mandan and Abenaki. They obtained cucumbers and watermelons from the Spanish, and added them to the crops they were already growing, including several varieties of corn and beans, pumpkins, squash, and gourd plants. The Iroquois were also growing them when the first Europeans visited them.
In 1630, the Reverend Francis Higginson produced a book called New England’s Plantation in which, describing a garden on Conant’s Island in Boston Harbor known as The Governor’s Garden, he states: “The countrie aboundeth naturally with store of roots of great varietie and good to eat. Our turnips, parsnips, and carrots are here both bigger and sweeter than is ordinary to be found in England. Here are store of pompions, cowcumbers, and other things of that nature which I know not...”
William Wood published in New England Prospect (published in 1633 in England) observations he made in 1629 in America: “The ground affords very good kitchin gardens, for Turneps, Parsnips, Carrots, Radishes, and Pompions, Muskmillons, Isquoter-squashes, coucumbars, Onyons, and whatever grows well in England grows as well there, many things being better and larger.”
In the later 17th century, a prejudice developed against uncooked vegetables and fruits. A number of articles in contemporary health publications stated that uncooked plants brought on summer diseases and should be forbidden to children. The cucumber kept this reputation for an inordinate period of time: “fit only for consumption by cows,” which some believe is why it gained the name, cowcumber.
A copper etching made by Maddalena Bouchard between 1772 and 1793 shows this plant to have smaller, almost bean-shaped fruits, and small yellow flowers. The small form of the cucumber is figured in Herbals of the 16th century, but states, "If hung in a tube while in blossom, the Cucumber will grow to a most surprising length."
Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary on 22 August 1663: “this day Sir W. Batten tells me that Mr. Newburne is dead of eating cowcumbers, of which the other day I heard of another, I think.” In "The Greenstone Door", William Satchell notes that "Te Moanaroa was dead – of a surfeit of cucumbers...", having eaten four of the "prickly" melons. (Chapter XX, The Storm Cloud).
In May 2011, cucumbers infected with E. coli were claimed to have caused the deaths of at least ten people, leading to some retailers withdrawing cucumbers from sale in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. The cucumbers were initially thought to have come from Spain. However, subsequent testing failed to show contamination in imported Spanish cucumbers, which led to the Spanish Government demanding compensation for Spanish farmers who had been forced to destroy huge quantities of cucumbers.
Cucumber is a census-designated place (CDP) in McDowell County, West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, its population was 94. It is centered on mining. Named either for nearby Cucumber Creek or for the cucumber trees in the area, it is the only community in the United States with this name. Its post office was still active as of October 2011 (see image).Cucumber Castle
Cucumber Castle is the seventh studio album by the Bee Gees, released in April 1970. It was produced by Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, and Robert Stigwood. It consists of songs from their television special of the same name, which was named after a song on their 1967 album Bee Gees' 1st. Cucumber Castle was the only Bee Gees album not to feature any recorded contributions from Robin Gibb, as he had left the group before the album was recorded. (He did receive co-composer credit on one track, which was written before his departure.)
Cucumber Castle was the last Bee Gees album with drummer Colin Petersen, who was fired during the recording of the album. Pentangle drummer Terry Cox played on the remaining tracks.
This album contained the hit single "Don't Forget to Remember" which hit No. 2 in the UK in August 1969, going virtually head to head with Robin Gibb's solo single "Saved by the Bell", which had reached number No. 2 the previous month. The album struggled to make an impact and stalled at number 57 in the UK and number 94 in the US. Indeed, it was the last Bee Gees album to chart in the UK until Spirits Having Flown in 1979 (though the soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever, which featured six contributions from the group as well as two additional songs that they wrote that other artists performed, topped the UK album chart in 1978).Cucumber Castle (film)
Cucumber Castle is a British comedy film starring The Bee Gees that aired on BBC2 on 26 December 1970.Cucumber mosaic virus
Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) is a plant pathogenic virus in the family Bromoviridae.
It is the type member of the plant virus genus, Cucumovirus. This virus has a worldwide distribution and a very wide host range. In fact it has the reputation of having the widest host range of any known plant virus. It can be transmitted from plant to plant both mechanically by sap and by aphids in a stylet-borne fashion. It can also be transmitted in seeds and by the parasitic weeds, Cuscuta sp. (dodder).Cucumber sandwich
The traditional cucumber sandwich is composed of paper-thin slices of cucumber placed between two thin slices of crustless, lightly buttered bread.
The traditional cucumber sandwich originated in the UK and is made with white bread. Modern variants (largely of US origin) exist, involving cream cheese, chopped dill or spices, brown bread, salmon, and even bread with crusts left intact. One specific US variant includes benedictine, a green soft spread based on cucumbers and cream cheese.
Cucumber sandwiches are most often served for a light snack or at afternoon tea, a formal light meal served at four in the afternoon or early evening before the main supper. In addition, cucumber sandwiches can be served in the tea break at club cricket matches in England.
Cucumber sandwiches are often eaten in the summer months or in warmer climates, such as in parts of India. Because of English influence on Indian culture, cucumber sandwiches are popular during cricket matches and weekend picnics. The Indian variant is flavoured with green chutney and sometimes contains slices of boiled potatoes. Until its demise in 2011, Indian Airlines used to serve cucumber sandwiches as part of its usual vegetarian inflight meal in short-haul domestic flights.Cucumis metuliferus
Cucumis metuliferus, horned melon, spiked melon, or kiwano, also African horned cucumber or melon, jelly melon, hedged gourd, melano, is an annual vine in the cucumber and melon family, Cucurbitaceae. Its fruit has horn-like spines, hence the name "horned melon". Ripe fruit has orange skin and lime green, jelly-like flesh with a refreshingly fruity taste, and texture similar to a passionfruit or pomegranate. C. metuliferus is native to Sub-Saharan Africa. It is now grown in the United States, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand.
Kiwano is a traditional food plant in Africa. Along with the Gemsbok cucumber (Acanthosicyos naudinianus) and Tsamma (Citron melon) it is one of the few sources of water during the dry season in the Kalahari Desert. In northern Zimbabwe it is called gaka or gakachika, and is primarily used as a snack or salad, and rarely for decoration. It can be eaten at any stage of ripening, but when overripened, will burst forcefully to release seeds.
The fruit's taste has been compared to a combination of banana and passionfruit or a combination of banana, cucumber and lime. A small amount of salt or sugar can increase the flavor. Some also eat the peel, which is very rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber.Datura stramonium
Datura stramonium, known by the English names jimsonweed (jimson weed) or devil's snare, is a plant in the nightshade family. Its likely origin was in Central America, and it has been introduced in many world regions. It is an aggressive invasive weed in temperate climates across the world.D. stramonium has been used in various treatments of traditional medicine or drug abuse as well as a hallucinogen and deliriant that is taken entheogenically for intense visions. It contains tropane alkaloids which produce the hallucinogenic properties, and may be severely toxic.List of VeggieTales characters
This is a list of characters that appear in the VeggieTales franchise.List of cucumber varieties
This is a list of varieties or cultivars of cucumber, a widely cultivated vine in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. The cucumber vine bears edible fruit.Mr. Potato Head
Mr. Potato Head is an American toy consisting of a plastic model of a potato which can be decorated with a variety of plastic parts that can attach to the main body. These parts usually include ears, eyes, shoes, a hat, a nose, and a mouth. The toy was invented and developed by George Lerner in 1949, and first manufactured and distributed by Hasbro in 1952. Mr. Potato Head was the first toy advertised on television and has remained in production since its debut. The toy was originally produced as separate plastic parts with pushpins that could be stuck into a real potato or other vegetable. However, due to complaints regarding rotting vegetables and new government safety regulations, Hasbro began including a plastic potato body within the toy set in 1964.Over the years, the original toy was joined by Mrs. Potato Head and supplemented with accessories such as a car and a boat trailer. Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head may be best known for their appearances in the Toy Story franchise. Additionally, in 1998 The Mr. Potato Head Show aired but was short-lived, with only one season being produced. As one of the prominent marks of Hasbro, a Mr. Potato Head balloon has also joined others in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Today, Mr. Potato Head can still be seen adorning hats, shirts, and ties. Toy Story Midway Mania!, in Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort, also features a large talking Mr. Potato Head.Nyaung-u Sawrahan
Nyaung-u Sawrahan (Burmese: ညောင်ဦး စောရဟန်း, pronounced [ɲàʊɴ ʔú sɔ́jəháɴ]; also Taungthugyi Min c. 924–1001) was king of the Pagan dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from c. 956 to 1001. Although he is remembered as the Cucumber King in the Burmese chronicles based on a legend, Sawrahan is the earliest king of Pagan whose existence has been verified by inscriptional evidence. According to scholarship, it was during Sawrahan reign that Pagan, then one of several competing city-states in Upper Burma, "grew in authority and grandeur". The creation of Burmese alphabet as well as the fortification of Pagan may have begun in his reign.Panipuri
Panipuri (pānīpūrī ) is a type of snack from UP/Bihar region of the Indian subcontinent.
It consists of a round, hollow puri, deep-fried crisp crepe
and filled with a mixture of flavored water (known as imli pani), tamarind chutney, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion or chickpeas.Modern chefs, eager to take their culinary expertise to the next level, have come up with interesting variations to the gol gappa like the cucumber panipuri, in which cucumber juice is used to fill up the puris.Pickled cucumber
A pickled cucumber (commonly known as a pickle in the United States and Canada and a gherkin in Britain, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand) is a cucumber that has been pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time, by either immersing the cucumbers in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation. Pickled cucumbers are often part of mixed pickles.Sea cucumber
Sea cucumbers are echinoderms from the class Holothuroidea. They are marine animals with a leathery skin and an elongated body containing a single, branched gonad. Sea cucumbers are found on the sea floor worldwide. The number of holothurian () species worldwide is about 1,717 with the greatest number being in the Asia Pacific region. Many of these are gathered for human consumption and some species are cultivated in aquaculture systems. The harvested product is variously referred to as trepang, namako, bêche-de-mer or balate. Sea cucumbers serve a useful role in the marine ecosystem as they help recycle nutrients, breaking down detritus and other organic matter after which bacteria can continue the degradation process.Like all echinoderms, sea cucumbers have an endoskeleton just below the skin, calcified structures that are usually reduced to isolated microscopic ossicles (or sclerietes) joined by connective tissue. In some species these can sometimes be enlarged to flattened plates, forming an armour. In pelagic species such as Pelagothuria natatrix (Order Elasipodida, family Pelagothuriidae), the skeleton is absent and there is no calcareous ring.The sea cucumbers are named after their resemblance to the fruit of the cucumber plant.Sea cucumber as food
Sea cucumbers are marine animals of the class Holothuroidea. They are used in fresh or dried form in various cuisines. In some cultural contexts the sea cucumber is thought to have medicinal value.
The creature and the food product are commonly known as bêche-de-mer in French, from Portuguese bicho do mar (literally "sea worm"), trepang (or trīpang) in Indonesian, namako in Japanese, balatan in Tagalog and loli in Hawaiian. In Malay, it is known as the gamat.Most cultures in East and Southeast Asia regard sea cucumbers as a delicacy. A number of dishes are made with sea cucumber, and in most dishes it has a slippery texture. Common ingredients that go with sea cucumber dishes include winter melon, conpoy, kai-lan, shiitake mushroom, and Chinese cabbage.Sedentary lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle involving little or no physical activity. A person living a sedentary lifestyle is often sitting or lying down while engaged in an activity like reading, socializing, watching television, playing video games, or using a mobile phone/computer for much of the day. A sedentary lifestyle can potentially contribute to ill health and many preventable causes of death.Screen time is a modern term for the amount of time a person spends looking at a screen such as a television, computer monitor, or mobile device. Excessive screen time is linked to negative health consequences.Sushi
Sushi (すし, 寿司, 鮨, pronounced [sɯꜜɕi] or [sɯɕiꜜ]) is a Japanese dish of prepared vinegared rice (鮨飯, sushi-meshi), usually with some sugar and salt, accompanying a variety of ingredients (ネタ, neta), such as seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits. Styles of sushi and its presentation vary widely, but the one key ingredient is "sushi rice", also referred to as shari (しゃり), or sumeshi (酢飯).
Sushi is traditionally made with medium-grain white rice, though it can be prepared with brown rice or short-grain rice. It is very often prepared with seafood, such as squid, eel, yellowtail, salmon, tuna or imitation crab meat. Many types of sushi are vegetarian. It is often served with pickled ginger (gari), wasabi, and soy sauce. Daikon radish or pickled daikon (takuan) are popular garnishes for the dish.
Sushi is sometimes confused with sashimi, a related dish in Japanese cuisine that consists of thinly sliced raw fish, or occasionally meat, and an optional serving of rice.Tzatziki
Tzatziki, cacık or tarator is a dip, soup, or sauce found in the cuisines of Southeast Europe and the Middle East. It is made of salted strained yogurt or diluted yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, sometimes with vinegar or lemon juice, and herbs such as dill, mint, parsley and thyme. It is generally served as a cold appetizer (meze) or a side dish.