What's the Difference Between Persian & English Cucumbers?

What's the Difference Between Persian & English Cucumbers?

Sheela Prakash
Jul 19, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

There are whole slew of cucumber varieties out there. Some are best pickled, some are best peeled, and some are best just sliced up and enjoyed simply. Two common cukes you may often hear grouped together are Persian and English. These two varieties are both prized for being thin-skinned — so they don't have to be peeled — and are pretty much seedless. So are they basically the same thing? Not quite. Here are their differences.

The Difference Between Persian & English Cucumbers

While both varieties of cucumbers have a nice, thin skin that you don't have to peel, there are a few subtle differences between them. The good news is, though, that they are similar enough that they can be used interchangeably. Both are best enjoyed fresh, whether they're sliced for salads or used as a vehicle for dip.

Persian Cucumbers

Persian cucumbers are thin-skinned and only grow to be about five to six inches long and remain quite narrow. These baby cukes are nearly seedless and extra crisp rather than watery, and have a mild, sweet flavor that's easy to fall for. You'll often find them in packages of a half-dozen or so.

English Cucumbers

Those cucumbers you always see in the grocery store wrapped tightly in plastic are English cucumbers. These cucumbers are also thin-skinned and pretty much seedless, but they're about a foot long on average and not as narrow as Persian cukes. Their flavor is a little less sweet and more mild, but they're still extra crunchy (although they can be a bit more watery).

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