Miniature Cucumbers with Flowers
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Miniature cucumbers are cylindrical and small, averaging 3-5 centimeters in length and still has the flower bud attached on one end. The outer skin of the Miniature cucumber is dark green and may have pimples and spines while others have smooth skin depending on the variety. The inner flesh is pale green to white and offers a crisp, crunchy, cool texture with a mild flavor.
Miniature cucumbers with flowers are available in the spring, typically mid-season.
Miniature cucumbers, botanically classified as Cucumis sativus, are not cucumbers picked prematurely, but are varieties that remain miniature even when mature. Known for its prolific and vigorous fruit production, Miniature cucumbers provide bite-sized fruits that are crunchy and easy to grow.
Miniature cucumbers are an excellent source of vitamins K, A, C, and potassium.
Miniature cucumbers are best suited for raw applications. Most popularly enjoyed as a raw snack straight from the garden, Miniature cucumbers can be sliced and added to salads, side dishes, and vegetable trays. They can also be quickly pickled in brine and served alongside seafood and meat dishes for an added fresh flavor. The cucumber blossoms can also be consumed raw or battered and deep fried. Miniature cucumbers pair well with vinegar, tahini, herbs such as dill, basil, and mint, garlic, lemon, chives, onion, bell pepper, arugula, tomato, and feta cheese. Miniature cucumbers will keep for a couple of days when stored in the refrigerator.
Miniature cucumbers are often categorized as gynoecious or parthenocarpic, which means they can be self-pollinating or all female flower plants. These plants produce higher amounts of fruit which has been favored for commercial production and are often grown in greenhouses to protect the plants from being cross-pollinated by outside male flowers.
The origin of Miniature cucumbers is relatively unknown, but some records point to England as their place of origin. Today, Miniature cucumbers are available at farmers markets and specialty grocers in Europe and the United States.