Some of last year’s pickled cucumbers (made from Lebanese slicing cucumbers) were less-than-ordinary; if you are going to go to the trouble of bottling your summer crop for winter consumption, then growing the right sort of cucumber in the first place is a good start.
Yet sliced cucumbers are an important part of our summer salads, so a cucumber that can do double-duty for slicing AND bottling is something worth looking out for...
The cucumber shown in the photo below is called ‘Muncher Burpless’, grown from non-hybrid, old traditional open-pollinated seeds from Eden Seeds in Lower Beechmont in Queensland. The same length as the teaspoon below them, these small cucumbers have a slightly thicker and rougher skin than standard salad cucumbers.
Here’s what the packet says:
Cucumber: Summer salad vegetable, known to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Likes rich well drained soil, though not heavily fertilised. Keep moist. Shallow roots damaged with cultivation. Sow after frost.
Muncher Burpless – tender burpless slicing variety, 17cm long, smooth bitterness-free green skin, can be used for pickles also. Resistance to mosaic virus. 65 days.
We are harvesting these cucumbers daily, and have bottled the surplus. Being small, there is no need to peel or slice them before putting them into wide-mouthed pickling jars. When peeled and used in salads, the taste is indeed smooth and free of bitterness, just as the packet proclaims.