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Marinda cucumbers are elongated, somewhat uniform fruits, averaging 8 to 11 centimeters in length, and have a cylindrical shape with rounded ends. The skin is semi-thick, dark green, firm, and is covered in small bumps giving the fruit a knobby or textured appearance. Underneath the surface, the flesh is pale green, crisp, and aqueous, encasing a central chamber with round, delicate, and thin, pale green to ivory seeds. Marinda cucumbers have a mildly sweet, green, and vegetal taste, lacking the bitter notes that are commonly associated with some cucumber varieties.
Marinda cucumbers are grown in greenhouses in Asia creating year-round availability.
Marinda cucumbers, botanically classified as Cucumis sativus, are a bumpy, hybrid variety that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. The cucumbers are an early-season, fast-growing cultivar that matures in approximately forty-five days, favored by both home gardeners and small farms in Asia for their short growing season, allowing for increased cultivation. In Russia and Kazakhstan, Marinda cucumbers are one of the more popular varieties grown in greenhouses year-round for local markets as the plant is resistant to many diseases, can survive in northern regions, and produces many fruits that can be sold for fresh consumption and use in canning.
Marinda cucumbers are a source of dietary fiber, which contributes to regular digestion habits, and contains some vitamins A, C, and K, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. The cucumbers also contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm irritation within the body and have diuretic and laxative effects.
Marinda cucumbers are best suited for raw applications as their mild, crunchy flesh is showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The cucumbers can be sliced and added to green salads, chopped and sprinkled over soups, marinated and consumed as a side dish, or paired with cooked meats. They can also be salted, pickled, and canned for extended use. Marinda cucumbers pair well with beets, tomatoes, dill, kale, carrots, onions, pine nuts, potatoes, and meats such as mutton. Fresh cucumbers will keep up to one week when stored in the refrigerator.
In Russia, the cucumber is a symbol of prosperity and hope in Lukhovitsy, which is a town famous for a unique pickle recipe. Lukhovitsy locals have been cultivating and pickling cucumbers as a significant source of income for many years, and the town has even erected a monument depicting a cucumber on top of a barrel with leaves and a gold coin to honor the cylindrical fruit and the economic impact it has made on the townspeople. On the monument, there is an inscription that reads, “For the cucumber with appreciation from Lukhovitsy citizens," which is a reflection of the eternal gratefulness of the locals. Lukhovitsy is also famous for its pickle recipe, which utilizes unusual ingredients such as the leaves of fruit trees as well as dill, spices, and garlic to make complex, flavored pickles. The jarred fruits are often sold in Moscow.
Marinda cucumbers are descendants of cucumber varieties originally from Asia in regions such as India, and the original varieties have been growing since ancient times. In the 14th century, the fruits were spread along trade routes into Europe, and in the 15th century, they arrived in Russia, where they were popularly canned and preserved for extended use through the cold winter months. While the exact origins of Marinda cucumbers are unknown, it is believed that they were developed in Moscow in the late 20th century and released to the market in the early 21st century. Marinda cucumbers can be found at local markets in Asia, and the fruits in the photo above were found at the Green Market in Almaty, Kazakhstan.