What is the difference between Persian and English cucumbers?

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Thomas J. Story

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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What is the difference between Persian and English cucumbers and can I use them interchangeably in recipes? 

Persian and English cucumbers can be used interchangeably in any recipe I have ever come across. They are both thin-skinned enough to be served unpeeled, and both are nearly seedless. (Persian cucumbers may have a few seeds). English cucumbers are often sold wrapped tightly in plastic and tend to be about a foot long, while Persian cucumbers are only about 5-6 inches.

The Cucumber Salad recipe pictured here is a great example of a recipe that calls for Persian cucumbers, but English cucumbers would work fine.

Marge Perry
Jun, 2011
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