Did you know that cucumbers are actually fruits that fall into the same family as pumpkins, squash, and melons? Well, that might not be the only thing that surprises you about cucumbers. Although this high-antioxidant ingredient is a staple in countless western dishes–and even entirely on its own as pickles—this “vegetable” actually originated in India where it has been cultivated for over three thousand years.

What are the different varieties of cukes?

All cucumbers are delicious and healthy, but you have probably found yourself in a conundrum on which cucumber to pick and for what on multiple occasions when browsing the produce section. To start, cucumbers are sorted into different varieties, including those best for slicing, for pickling, and those that are seedless. It’s a lot to remember when there are so many to choose from. Don’t worry. There’s a foolproof way to avoid fumbling through this riddle.

The all-in-one cucumber.

The solution: pick long English cucumbers. What is so special about them? Think of English cucumbers as the Roger Federer of all cucumbers, the one who excels at every surface and every stroke—or in this case, every dish and every cooking method. Because they are seedless and with tender skin, English cucumbers don’t have to be peeled or seeded to be consumed. They’re also milder in flavour, which makes them perfect for grilling, in salads, and even for pickling–anything, really.

Cucumber Recipes

If you’re still unsure about what to do with them, here are some recipe inspirations for you to prepare this delicious and healthy ingredient.

Dill Pickle Recipe

Chilled Cucumber-Yoghurt Soup

Tomato, Cucumber, Feta Salad

Daniel is a Digital Marketing and Content Strategist at SPUD. He graduated from UBC with a degree in English and International Relations with a focus on environmental topics. A wordsmith by day and a bookman by night, he's a self-proclaimed gastronomic snob, a buck-a-shuck addict, a sub-par skier, and a devoted kingsguard of the oxford comma. He also frequents the dog park with a schnauzer named Duke. | Instagram: @dannnyellow

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