Meet at the market: cukes for sale

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The Garden Of… sells both Lemon and Japanese cucumbers. Photo: Kathryn Barnes

Each week we meet up with Katie Hershfelt of Cultivate Events as she chats with farmers, chefs and shoppers at the Santa Barbara Farmers’ Market.

This week, the different colors, shapes and sizes of cucumbers caught her eye, and led her on a cuke-tasting tour.

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Clockwise from top left: Persian, Lemon, Suhyo and Japanese cucumbers. Photos: Kathryn Barnes

Persian cucumbers are very similar to English cucumbers. They are typically small, with a mild flavor and thin skins, making them great for salads or to scoop up dip. Grab these at Beylik Family Farms.

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Debby Takikawa of The Garden Of… shows off her Japanese delights.

Lemon cucumbers are yellow, round, and the size of a generous fist. They are sweet, without that bitter edge that most cucumbers have, with thin skins and minimal, soft seeds. They are tasty raw and look lovely in salads, but they make delicious pickles, too. Buy these at The Garden Of…

Suhyo cucumbers are an Asian variety that can grow up to 15″ long with a curly shape if unsupported. These make good dense pickling cukes if picked young enough. Hilltop and Canyon Farms grows these.

Japanese cucumbers are a favorite in Japan for their long, slender shape, dark green color and few seeds. If you don’t eat it all at once, wrap the unused portion tightly in plastic wrap to prevent dehydration in the refrigerator. Stop by The Garden Of… for these.

To check out all our past farmers’ market guests, click here.