Until about 50 years ago, cucumbers were eaten only in late spring and summer. The arrival of the first cucumbers was awaited with eagerness, a feeling now reserved only for the very first new potatoes. Read more about Scandinavian cucumber.
The watery cucumbers that we buy in their plastic sarcophagi all year round cannot be compared to the freshly picked summer cucumbers that are sweet, heavy and crisp, with a much lower water content and much more taste.
Related: Scandinavian Vegetables
Cucumbers have been known and grown in the north for a very long time, and have found their place both fresh as salad greens and pickled. They match the favorite herb dill and horseradish, whatever way you choose to prepare them.
How it grows
Most cucumbers in Scandinavia are grown in greenhouses, and many people grow their own.
Appearance and taste
Most of our cultivars are the same as in the rest of the world, except for the asier, a Nordic cultivar which is a very large, thick, fleshy, and thick-skinned cucumber. It is filled with inedible hard seeds, and is used only for pickling, while still green. If it is successfully pickled it will be extremely crisp, and is used in the same way as pickled gherkins and cucumbers.
Related: Scandinavian Peas
There are not many ways to prepare cucumber. It’s a favourite topping for liver paste on rye bread or is used in salads, often with dill. It can also be pickled in different ways, with more dill, and a few slices of horseradish, making the most of both the sharp taste and amazing preserving qualities of horseradish.
Related: Scandinavian Asparagus
Sweet-and-sour cucumber salad
Preserved in a vinegar marinade, the salad will keep for several weeks in the fridge. Eat on open sandwiches, with chicken, frikadeller or sausages.
100ml cider vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
I teaspoon coarsely ground
2 small cucumbers
Put the water, vinegar and seasoning in a pan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, slice the cucumber finely (with the peel on), then place in a bowl. Pour over the boiling marinade and have it to cool before serving.
Scandinavian Cucumber, written by Tor Kjolberg