What is the difference between a slicing cucumber and a pickling cucumber?

Posted by Coley Ward on Jun 21, 2018 5:48:47 PM

This week we're shipping out slicing cucumbers, which begged the question: as opposed to what? Turns out there are a few different varieties of cucumbers, but the two most common are slicing and pickling. It also turns out that there's some confusion about what constitutes a slicing pickle.

cucumbersFor example, Grow It Organically says slicing pickles "produce the largest fruits with the thickest skins, which gives them longer shelf life and makes them the best choice for shipping." However, Johnny's Selected Seeds says, "They’re bred for fresh eating, with thin, non-bitter skins and slow development of seeds."

So which is it? Thick skins or thin skins?

Fortunately, Healthy Canning has written what some might consider the definitive post on the differences between slicing and pickling cucumbers. Here's what they say about slicing cucumbers:

“Slicing” refers to cucumbers sold fresh for immediate consumption usually as a salad item. Characterized by thick, uniform, dark green skins, slicing cucumbers are longer than pickling types.

So if slicing cucumbers are the long, thick-skinned cucumbers, what are pickling cucumbers? Those are the shorter, stouter types with more spines, as well as drier flesh that allows them to soak up more of the brine they’re pickled in.

Got all that?

Now that you know the difference between a slicing cucumber and a pickling cucumber, here are some recipes for both.

Slicing Cucumber Recipes

Cucumber Fennel Salad

Cucumber and Hakurei Turnip Salad

Pickling Cucumber Recipes

Lemon Basil Pickles

Small Batch Refrigerator Pickles

Topics: pickles, cucumbers, fermentation

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