An Israeli Cucumber Begins to Transform American Kitchens

Californians have recently started seeing an influx of a new kind of cucumber being offered in their local farmer’s markets. Unlike the traditional cucumbers you probably use in your own kitchen, these cucumbers are small, flavorful and, despite the name (Persian cucumbers) they are based on an Israeli varietal. Here’s what you need to know:

An Israeli kibbutz, which is a kind of cooperative farm (though most such places have today branched into other endeavors) began planting local cucumbers before the founding of the State of Israel. It was and remains called Beit Alpha. The kibbutz members, however, found that the local varietals were actually heavily prone to disease and rot. Thus, they began experimenting, splicing them with other varietals which were more robust and still more which were seedless.

The result was that the kibbutz was able to create a small, flavorful cucumber which grew well and which didn’t require peeling since the skin was fully edible. Today, the variety, still known as Beit Alpha by some is also commonly referred to as “Persian” and is offered at some restaurants and farmers markets. What’s really nice about these varietals however is the fact that they seem to be a hit with customers, who prefer the body and flavor of the cucumbers over the tasteless variety more commonly found in American super markets.

We’re suggesting that restaurateurs should consider experimenting with these small, flavorful cucumbers in order to offer their diners a brand new taste experience. Given how popular the cucumbers already are with the population of southern California, we think that these cucumbers could easily make the difference for those who are struggling to attract the more culinarily-aware crowd that also happens to crave a crisp and flavorful salad with their meals. The cucumbers are commonly grown today in Holland, though the Israeli variety is also available for purchase.

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One Response to “An Israeli Cucumber Begins to Transform American Kitchens”

  1. Joan van der Merwe Says:

    Hi Jim,
    I live in Johannesburg, South Africa and these little Israeli cucumbers
    available from Woolworth stores and they are the best to put in a bottle in a brine. I am not going to put the full recipe on your blog.
    Let me have your email address and I will forward the recipe and photos. I put certain dry seeds and herbs in the brine. Brine should not be a a strong pickle brine and do not boil cucumbers as they will discolour and they will last up to a year or more.
    Glad I found your blog.
    Kind regards
    Joan van der Merwe

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