Sunday, September 7, 2014

Armenian Cucumber Sculpture

This is not the way a regular Armenian cucumber looks. All the ones I picked were  12-18 inches long, straight or somewhat curved, not doubled over.

A friend gave me some Armenian cucumber seed. I was extremely pleased with the every aspect of this fine cucumber. It is light green in color and has ridges on the outside The taste is mild and the flesh is much drier than ordinary cucumbers, which leads to longer storage than regular cucumbers when they are cut. As regular cucumbers enlarge, the inside devoted to seed seems to increase. Armenian cucumbers (at least the ones I grew) had less space devoted to seed, even when they became quite large. They grow fast, like regular cucumbers, and need to be picked regularly to as they do not remain at their best as they get extremely large. Online the test for when to pick was suggested when you can reach around the cucumber  with your thumb and index finger. Virtually all of mine were bigger than this when I picked them, but still delicious. The heat does not seem to faze them, nor does irregular watering make them bitter. Most of the mention I read on line was from growers in Arizona, so you know they are heat tolerant. In fact, my plants continued to produce til early September. Whoever heard of a regular cucumber producing that long!

I did not try pickling, but have every reason to suppose the pickles would be as good as the unpickled.

Maybe what accounts for the difference in Armenian cucumbers and regular cucumbers is that Armenian cucumbers are not really cucumbers. They are melons which taste like cucumbers when they are young.

Another reason you might enjoy Armenian cucumbers is they can be made into interesting vegetable sculptures, whether you mean to or not. This one started small, hanging into a cement block. As it grew larger it was forced to make accommodations. I was able to get it out of the block by pushing it out the bottom.

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