Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Armenian Cucumber: Cucumber or Alien?

Every now and then I like to touch base with my good friend, storyteller Jordan Hill, about how much more exciting the local food scene is in his current residence of Tucson, AZ. Of course I'm extremely proud of my own foodshed, but I guess the mesquite flour is always greener on the other side.

One day the subject turned to Armenian cucumbers. I've been delighted to find these crisp, thin skinned snacks at Boston far-mar's and was glad to hear from Jordan that they were thriving in the Southwest as well. Only it seemed there was something different about the Armenian cucumbers he was getting. While mine were the size of a small cigar, his were as big as my dog. Or, as Jordan here illustrates, his (hairy) leg:

They seem less like a vegetable and more like an oasis. Apparently the adjective "Armenian" not only means a resident of the republic of Armenia but also "either small or of Seussical proportions."

His cucumbers looked like they could eat him. However, it seems Jordan and his wife Autumn found a way to beat the cukes to it.

They butchered the monsters into delightful salads and cold soups: perfect food for living in the Sonoran dessert.

Many vegetables will grow to these proportions if left unpicked, like okra or zucchini, but at that stage their increased size usually correlates to a decrease in texture or flavor. Apparently not so with the Armenian snozzcumbers. Jordan and Autumn report that they are quite delicious.

My curiosity is certainly peaked by these watery beasts, and I'd appreciate it if someone out there could clear up the mystery as to why my Armenian cukes are small and Jordan's are so big. (Besides the obvious explanation that he's more of a man than I am.)

One thing I do know about Armenian cucumbers is that, though large, they're nowhere near as creepy as that giant rabbit. That thing gives me the willies.

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gaming speicher said...

Whoa! Is that a cucumber? Its like the big big brother of pumpkin. Amazing pics! Keep updating if you get a bigger one.

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