|Jul 9th, 2011, by Alex Zorach|
These lemon cucumbers were for sale at the Clark Park Farmer's Market in West Philadelphia. They were organically grown at the Pennypack Farm in Horsham, PA. This particular stand sells a very large variety of cucumbers; some of the other varieties are visible in the background of this photo.
Lemon cucumbers are a peculiar variety of cucumber that at first glance looks very uncucumberlike. They are nearly perfectly round, pale yellow in color, and about the size of the lemon. Their name refers to their appearance, not their flavor or aroma. I was curious if these cucumbers would have a lemony aroma, as there are many different plants that are unrelated to lemons but have aromas strongly resembling lemons (think lemongrass or lemon verbena, to name a couple). But these cucumbers do not smell or taste at all like lemons...they similar to a typical cucumber, and if anything, slightly more melon-like in aroma.
One thing that I'm not crazy about about lemon cucumbers is that they are rather seedy. Because of their round shape, there is ample room for seeds to grow, even with their small size. However, as an upside, the seeds are confined to a relatively small area in the interior of the fruit, and can be easily scooped out.