Monday, November 12, 2007
Here is something you don't see everyday, a jar of pickled WILD cucumbers! We first got on to these a few years ago and have them as a change from the fermented and pickled cucumbers that usually grace our pantry. Mind you, it is only an occasional change, as these beauties are as salty as all get out, which I'm theorising is because wild cucumbers might be a little bitter and are well salted to make them more palatable, in the way most older cookbooks tell you to salt eggplant (aubergine) slices to draw out the bitter juices.
As you can see, they are long and very slender, but are distinctively cucumber shaped and seem to have more in common with Mediterranean cucumbers than other varieties. Cucumbers themselves are thought to have come from India and then embraced by the rest of the world. These wild cucumbers however have nothing to do with the wild cucumber of North America, known as manroot, which are shorter, rounder and spiky.
Because of the strong salty taste, which is accentuated by the pickling liquid, describing their flavour is a little difficult, but they are definitely slightly different to other pickled cucumbers, with a slight earthiness evident. They would most probably be served as part of a meze, no doubt with some fiery arak, or lion's milk as it's known in Lebanon, which could turn into a nasty little circle with all that salt leading to just one more drink...
This is my entry to Weekend Herb Blogging, this week hosted by The Expatriate's Kitchen.