24 Jul2005

Pipino / Cucumber

by Marketman

I always used to grumble about the lack of produce choices when I first moved back home. acuc1Recently, however, I have noticed that if you keep your eyes peeled at some of the markets you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find. Going to the market without a list is the first step to discovering finds; the second step is to constantly view vendor offerings as though it was the first time you had ever seen their stall and vegetables. Last Saturday I was amazed to find four different kinds of cucumbers at the market: Ridged or the most common large cucumbers grown here for eons, really pale large cucumbers (which I did not buy), small English cucumbers and even smaller and bumpy skinned gherkins. Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) are thought to have originated in Southern India but are also believed to be one of the oldest cultivated vegetables with Mr. Davidson writing it has been farmed for over 4000 years!

My quest to seek vegetables with low calories and low in uric acid is the reason I am scouring the markets for new things…they are required in Marketman’s low carbohydrate South Forbes Diet. The ridged (I think so called due to the paler lines or ridges on their skin) cucumbers have been a staple here for a while, removal of their seeds is sometimes done to focus on the crisper meat. With most cucumbers weighing in at 90% water, they can get mushy if overripe. Most cucumbers are raised for eating fresh but a huge proportion are also pickled (think dill and sweet pickles). The English cucumbers I found where a little smaller than their western counterparts but they were still delicious and had fewer seeds. Finally, the gherkins I bought looked like the perfect size for pickling but I couldn’t be bothered so I decided to eat them fresh and sliced up instead.



  1. bayi says:

    Are the slim long ones Japanese cucumbers? They look crunchy and delicious!

    Jul 25, 2005 | 9:38 am


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  3. Marketman says:

    Yup Bayi, the long ones are what are also referred to as Japanese cucumbers. But I think originally they are of the European strain though I am not certain. At any rate, they are extremely crunchy and yummy! In fact, I just had some at a Japanese restaurant last night… I think they were just lightly salted before serving!

    Jul 25, 2005 | 10:21 am

  4. sister says:

    You might try looking for Persian cucumbers. They small and slim, very crunchy and great in Greek and other salads. Now available in NYC at Agat and Valentina, Fairway and Union Square from July to September. They are better than gherkins, English cukes, etc.

    Jun 20, 2008 | 9:00 pm


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