Saturday, June 27, 2009

Food Find - Lemon Cucumber

Well, actually I found it a few months back, at Lowe's garden center. But I just harvested the first one today, and sliced it open. Tastes like cucumber.

Sized about the same as a baseball, the firmness was more like a softball. The inside flesh while crisp is not as crunchy as the traditional variety and the skin is much softer (though that may be due to my familiarity to more of a industrial cucumber product).

There was no bitterness, it has a very slightly sweet flavor - but so do green cucumbers that have not been deprived of water when growing. It has a nicely mellow aftertaste, and a slightly higher acidity - but it does not taste like lemons. I would say that the seeds were a little tougher, I would probably remove them if using this in a dish. Burpless? Time will tell.

Concerned that perhaps I'd waited too long to harvest, I decided to pick another (younger) lemon cucumber. No, while slightly crunchier, it had less flesh and less flavor, so the larger one seemed to be at the peak.

So while I'd like to say we'll be featuring these at the restaurant, we may have to wait until a few more blooms decide to fruit - these were the only two I had on my plant. Hopefully I'll have a few more in the next month.


Maria Gaffney said...

Did you ever feature this in a recipe. I found them at my farmers market, but I am not sure the best way to use it.

Any suggestions?

Amy Severson said...

I have not found any recipes yet, even tho' they seem to have been around for a few years.

Their most striking feature is the orange/yellow color of their skins, the flavor is almost identical to a regular cucumber. A ripe cucumber I picked from my garden had a softer skin than a traditional cuke, so I would think any tossed salad (pasta salad, chop salad, etc.) calling for cucumbers would work - and I would leave the skin on for effect.

I have some just coming ripe, will see if I can get Chef Sevy to prepare a special recipe I can share with you.

Rencontres said...

Ive also never heard about recipes using lemon cucumber. Would be interested in trying a salad for example.

Also never tasted lemon cucumber, its almost impossible to find it in the stores.