Hot House cucumbers distinguish themselves from common garden cucumbers by their texture, taste and edible skin. The skin is thin, furrowed and forest green in color. Though they are often marketed as seedless, which implies a sweeter cucumber, the pale green to translucent white flesh does contain seeds, though the seeds are underdeveloped and non-bitter. Hot House cucumbers can reach a length of two feet and still maintain a bright clean and sweet flavor, favorable moisture content and crisp texture.
Hot House cucumbers are available year-round.
Cucumbers, Cucumis sativa, are members of the important food plant family, Cucurbitaceae, which also includes melons, squashes and gourds. For culinary purposes, cucumbers are defined as either a slicing, burpless or pickling cucumber. The Hot House cucumber is classified as a burpless cucumber. It received its name specifically because it is grown in greenhouses under controlled environmental conditions, specifically heat and light. To preserve the cucumber's texture and water weight, it is shrink wrapped in air-tight plastic wrap, which doubles as visual recognition in the supermarket. Plastic sealing is an alternative method to waxing cucumbers, which is conventionally done to larger common slicing cucumber varieties to extend shelf-life. The Hot House cucumber is commonly referred to as an English cucumber and European cucumber.
As Hot House cucumbers' skin is thin, they make an ideal fresh slicing cucumber. They are a quintessential salad ingredient alongside mixed greens, kales and herbaceous greens such as arugula. Hot House cucumbers' crispness makes them a great textural component to chopped salads and pasta salads, sandwiches and sushi. They can be sliced lengthwise, widthwise, diced and julienned. Hot House cucumbers can be grilled, puréed or pickled. Complimentary ingredients include red and white fish, shellfish, lamb, beef, chiles, tomatoes, mint, oregano, yogurt, garlic, cumin, chicken, pork and fresh cheeses such as feta, ricotta and farmhouse style cheeses.