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Weeknight Cooking

What’s the Difference Between English and Regular Cucumbers?

Smashing English cucumbers unleashes their smashing flavo(u)rs.
By Published Apr. 15, 2019

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English cucumbers, sometimes sold as hothouse cucumbers, are generally longer and slimmer than their more traditional cousins and often sold shrink-wrapped at the grocery store. They also have fewer seeds (don’t be fooled when they are labeled as “seedless”—they don’t quite deliver on that promise), and, most important for the recipe here, a skin that is much easier to eat.

The skin on English cukes is more pleasant for two reasons: One, it’s thinner than the skin on standard cucumbers. And two, it’s usually unwaxed—hence the shrink-wrapping that protects them in transit.

Flavor-wise, it’s a wash; some people prefer one variety over the other, but I’m happy either way. This recipe calls for English cucumbers purely for their more tender skins. Combining the cucumber chunks with a bit of salt in a zipper-lock bag and then gently smashing them before dressing them ensures they are deeply seasoned throughout. Summer is coming!


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