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Someone once described cucumbers as little green portable bags of water. There is a lot of truth in that. On a pound for pound basis, a cucumber contains more water than a watermelon, a plant that (in case you had not noticed) gets its name from water. Cucumbers are 95-6% water, where watermelons come in at 92-3%.


Cucumbers got their start thousands of years ago on the eastern foothills of the Himalayan mountains that form the border between India and Tibet. That's where the original wild versions of cucumbers can still be found.

From there they spread eastwards into China itself and westwards into India, then Persia, then Egypt, and finally Greece.

Cucumbers were not all that popular among ordinary working people in these countries, because they need a great deal of water to grow and deliver very little in actual nutrition and energy value. That's because, as we just said, they're almost all water; so they were too costly to grow compared to the amount of goodness they provided. However, cucumbers were a big hit with the aristocrats — the royalty, the nobility, the wealthy traders and landowners — who could spare pretty much any expense. Today, in contrast, most everyone who likes them eats cucumbers, either in salads or in the form of pickles.

From Greece, cucumbers made their way into Europe, then came to the Americas in 1492 when Columbus brought cumcumber seeds with him on his first voyage to the New World.