Cucumbers are really, really good for you. Eat ‘em, drink ‘em, rub ‘em on your skin. It’s all good. No wonder they’ve survived for 4,000 years!!!! Read on to discover more about cucs. Then impress your friends & family with your new found knowledge. :))))))
I don’t know about you, but there is something wonderful about cucumbers. We are so lucky to be able to go to pretty much any grocery store, and pick from different varieties/sizes, and enjoy their fresh, healthy flavor. As the early summer harvest comes in, I find myself grabbing a bunch from our nearby farms and searching for extra ways to add them to our meals. Once chilled, I love them right out of the fridge. They are especially good sliced on sandwiches, or covered in blue cheese dressing or with French Onion dip or with salami or…….. Needless to say I love cucs! Recently while shopping, I was looking at the long “english” versions – talk about a PIA (Pain in the @$%) Job! – and I had to go digging to find out how they get them to grow this way. Here’s some fun history on the vegi, Cucurbitaceae family, along with some simple recipes you just gotta try. If you have a favorite, be sure to send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to atlasobscura.com, Wikipedia, leafyplace.com and vegifacts.net for the info. Crunch away!!
- Cucumber is a popular cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae that managed to captivate our attention from the moment it appeared in ancient India. Since that pivotal moment over 4,000 years ago, cucumber was spread beyond Indian borders, moved through Ancient Greece, Rome, Europe, New World, China, and eventually becoming fourth most widely cultivate vegetable in the world. This journey was filed with golden periods when they were viewed as integral parts of many culture’s cuisines, and sometimes they were treated as bringers of disease.
- Home for cucumbers (which have three main varieties – “slicing”, “pickling”, and “burpless”) Just what I need burpless cucumbers!! originated from Ancient India where it grew in the wild. Around 2-3 millennia BC, early Indian civilization managed to domesticate cucumber and start infusing it into their rich cuisine.
- As time went by, their manufacturing capabilities expanded, and in 1st millennia BC they started trading with Middle Eastern civilization and Europe. The most famous example of cucumber finding a home in the Middle East can be found in the legends of the ancient Ur and the sagas of Gilgamesh – (think early superhero). During those times, cucumbers also reached Turkey, Bulgaria, Africa, Modern-day Serbia and Italy.
- The term “cool as a cucumber” is actually derived from the cucumber’s ability to cool the temperature of the blood. When applied topically, cucumber really does cool the blood and ease facial swelling, which is why cucumbers are so popular in facial regimens.
- The Roman Empire was the place where cucumbers were truly embraced by both nobility and lower classes. The ease of production and wide variety of types and tastes ensured that cucumbers remained popular in Italy for several centuries. In addition to eating, cucumbers were also widely used as a source of several medicinal remedies (both cultivated and wild cucumbers of cucumbers were used for creation of over various 40 remedies), treating everything from bad eyesight, scared mices, cured scorpion bites, and carried around waists by wives who wished to have children.
- Out on a date and realize that you forgot gum or breath mints? Relax! Ask your waiter for some sliced cucumber with your meal. Take a slice and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. The phytochemicals will kill the bacteria that are responsible for causing bad breath.
- The most famous example of cucumbers fascination in Ancient Rome came during the short reign of Emperor Tiberius (14 – 16 AD) who demanded to eat cucumber on every day of the year. During summer special gardens were tended just for his vegetables, and in winter cucumber was grown on moveable bed frames that were moved to be exposed to the sun or illuminated with mirror-stones.
- After the fall of Rome, cucumbers receded from popularity, resurfacing on the court of Charlemagne in 8th and 9th century, and arrived in England in 14th century. That first interaction with English population was not successful, but cucumbers returned there in mid-17th century when they managed to take hold.
- The Age of Discovery proved to be a very important factor of spreading cucumber all across the word. Christopher Columbus brought cucumbers to Haiti in 1494 where they were grown by Spanish settlers and distributed further across New World. During 16th century, European trappers in North America introduced cucumbers to the native Indians in the region of Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Those tribes quickly saw the potential and nutritious value of cucumbers and watermelons, integrating them into immediately into their fields. The best Native American cucumber farmers were located on the lands of modern North and South Dakota.
- During 18th century, expansion of cucumbers across North America suddenly stopped when several medicinal journals started reporting that cucumbers (and all similar vegetables that were not cooked) represented serious health risk. Discouraged by those misconceptions, cucumber use plummeted across the continent, which was reversed only in 19th century.
- There are nearly 100 varieties of cucumbers grown in most countries in the world. Since cucumbers are generally used as a type of fresh or pickled vegetable in the culinary world.
- Stressed? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma. How’s that for a quick and easy stress-reliever?
- Do you have a problem with your bathroom mirror fogging up after your morning shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror. It will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
- Do you have a hard time drinking your eight glasses of water per day? Try munching on some cucumbers. They are made up of 95% water! Snacking on cucumbers can also help curb hunger.
- Using a pen and made a mistake? Move over, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser! Take the outside waxy coating of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing.
- Want to brighten up your bathroom without harsh chemicals and still have all of your surfaces streak free? Look no further: Take a slice of cucumber and wipe it on any surface that needs a little TLC — your faucets, sinks, stainless steel, etc. — and it will remove tarnish and built-up residue and leave it looking beautifully clean and shiny.
- Had a few too many? We’ve been there. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in balance. Eat a couple slices before bed and wake up headache-free!
- Need a burst of energy in the afternoon but no time for a nap? Stay away from sugar-loaded energy drinks! Cucumbers are a great source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that afternoon pick-me-up that can be just the jolt that you need.
- In 2020 worldwide cucumber production was over 85 million tons, with majority of the world’s production and export being located in China (70 million tons).
- Cucumbers contain Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, folic acid, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. (Who needs a multivitamin?)
DO YOU LIKE CONTESTS?
As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I. Love. My. Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good. :-))))