- Episode 16 Cucumbers
Episode 16 Cucumbers
Crisp and refreshing, the star of your summer dishes.
It is said that the cucumber originated in India and then spread to the east and west, with different varieties subsequently being developed throughout the world. The most common varieties of cucumber currently grown in Japan have bumpy skin with white spines.
Sakata's F1 series was involved in the popularization of these varieties.
The "Satsuki Midori" has been popular since it was introduced in 1964 and has been recognized for its attractiveness and tastiness. This is the variety that really brought about the age of the "white spine" varieties. Along with the "Prince" melon and the "Kinpai" cabbage, at the time, it was one of the three pillars of our company's vegetable seed business. The "Satsuki Midori" soon vanished from the commercial market though, because its soft skin resulted in a shorter shelf life and it had a tendency to bend. However, it has been a long seller and is still grown in home gardens on account of its tastiness. The exact origin of the name is unknown, but it seem to have something to do with the fact that its peak harvest is in May ("satsuki").
Other popular varieties include the so called "three Sango brothers", consisting of the "Kuro Sango", "Natsu Sango", and "Aji Sango", which are long, thin Suyo varieties with ribs and bumps. They are ideally suited to pickling.
The short length, spine-free "Beit Alpha" with its smooth surface is the main type grown in the Middle East. In the 1980s, our company developed the F1 "Sweet Crunch" cultivar of this variety, which, with its improved disease resistance and higher yields, would go on to dominate Middle-Eastern markets, especially Egypt.
Species that looked good, were uniform in appearance and disease resistant dominated the domestic market, But to meet the increasing demand for more succulent and flavorsome cucumbers, we developed the tasty "Freedom" variety. Crunchy, aromatic, and delicious, once people got used to the spine-free exterior, they quickly became fans.
In addition to resilience and yield, we are proud to say that we have always paid great attention to the flavor of our cucumbers. If you spot a "Freedom" cucumber in the shop, then make sure you try it. You won't be disappointed.