A cucumber is a long, thin vegetable with a cylindrical shape. There are three main varieties known as; burpless, pickling and slicing, which are used in different ways. Cucumbers can be eaten raw, pickled or used in a variety of recipes. All varieties of cucumbers grow on a creeping vine, which are usually grown commercially with supporting frames to allow the vine to grow upwards. The cucumber vine has large leaves, which grow over the top of the vegetable which help to protect it from being eaten by animals as it grows. Let’s find out where the cucumber originated from and where it is grown today.
Where do cucumbers originate from?
The cucumber originated from India where it has been cultivated for 3,000 or more years. Many varieties have been developed in India over the years and many of these are still grown there today. The cucumber was spread from India to Greece, Italy and other European countries either by the Romans or Greeks, and it was later spread to China. We know that it was grown in France in the 9th century, England in the 14th century and in North America in the 16th century. Today, cucumbers are grown throughout the world.
Where are cucumbers grown today?
The largest producer of cucumbers is China at approximately 40 million metric tons. Amazingly, China produces more that 60% of the global supply of the vegetable. Iran, Turkey and Russia all produce more than 1 million metric tons. Other large producers (over 500,000 metric tons) include; the United States, Ukraine, Spain, Egypt, Japan and Indonesia. Smaller numbers are grown in many other countries and this vegetable is grown on every continent on Earth, apart from Antarctica.
Did you know?
Cucumbers are listed as one food that was available in ancient Ur.