Nothing is better than having a refreshing cucumber treat on a hot summer day (we recommend our Apeel-Protected Cucumber Sorbet). Whether it’s in a salad or on its own, cucumbers stay a crowd favorite. With Apeel-Protected English Cucumbers, you can enjoy fresh cucumbers which are plastic-free. In honor of cucumber season, here are a few facts about them you might not know!
- Cucumbers have been on our plates for a long time. Native to India, cucumbers are considered primeval vegetables and have been harvested as a food source for over 3000 years. [Sumerianz Journal of Biotechnology]
- The saying “Cool as a cucumber” is backed by science. Keeping cool is easy for a cucumber; the inside of one can be up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than its external temperature. This is because water, which makes up 95% of a cucumber, takes more energy to heat up than air. [University of Missouri Integrated Pest Management]
- Egyptian Queen Cleopatra proclaimed that the nutritional benefits of pickled cucumbers were the secret to her beauty and well-being. On the other hand, her lover Julius Caesar thought a regular diet of pickles would give his army strength. [The History Channel]
- Cucumbers offer a wide array of health benefits. High potassium levels in the cucumber can lower high blood pressure, while high amounts of vitamin K can assist with bone mass development. Cucumber consumption can help prevent various skin problems, including eye swelling and sunburns, by increasing cooling and promoting soothing anti-itching properties. [Sumerianz Journal of Biotechnology]
- Cucumbers belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes pumpkin, watermelon, squash, and muskmelon. [University of Missouri Integrated Pest Management]
- We have the Mesopotamians to thank for pickles. More than 4000 years ago, Mesopotamians are believed to have preserved cucumbers by soaking them in an acidic brine, creating the first-ever known “pickles.” [The History Channel]
- Cukes are in high demand; Canada produces over 301,000 tons and the U.S. over 635,000 tons of cucumbers yearly! However, the US also consumes a whopping 1.6 million metric tons of cucumbers annually, and imports close to a million tons to keep up with the demand. [Wilson Center]
- English Cucumber shelf life and quality depend on how much light they get while growing. A cucumber that develops under high light intensity has higher chlorophyll content at harvest than one developed in low light intensity. Chlorophyll degradation helps determine the shelf life of cucumbers, meaning the more chlorophyll content a cucumber has, the longer it’ll last. [Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science]
- Ever heard of a cowcumber? In the 17th century, the English started calling cucumbers “cowcumbers” because of prejudice against uncooked produce. Some even believed consuming cucumbers would inflict summer diseases, insisting that they should only be used for animal fodder (hence, cowcumber). [Bon Appétit]
- For every truckload shipped of Apeel-Protected English Cucumbers, 114 lbs of plastic use is prevented, equivalent to eliminating 5,000 single-use plastic water bottles. This means you can get Apeel-Protected English Cucumbers that stay fresh for longer without wasteful single-use plastic. Plastic-free cucumbers are our favorite kind of cucumbers!
Craving cucumbers after learning more about them? Head to our store locator to see where you can find plastic-free Apeel-Protected English Cucumbers near you!