|Image courtesy of UC Davis. Photographer: Don Edwards|
Just in time for cucumber season, some news that surprises me. Did you know that you should store cucumbers at room temperature?
Credit for my enlightenment goes to UC Davis. (May I just say bless UC Davis for all the good it does?) In this case I’m referencing their department of Post Harvest Technology. According to them, cukes should be stored at room temperature. If you do feel the need to put them in the fridge, they can tolerate up to 3 days of cold storage if they are used soon as they are removed from the refrigerator.
Seems that cucumbers are susceptible to cold injury if held more than 3 days at temperatures lower than 50F/10C. Signs of cold injury are wateriness, pitting on the outside and accelerated decay
Another factoid: Cucumbers are sensitive to ethylene gas, which is put off by some ripening fruits and vegetables. So for longest storage, don’t keep your cukes near melons, tomatoes or bananas.
Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are also damaged by cold, so keep these on your counter as well. I’ve highlighted cucumbers in this post, because I think most people refrigerate them as a matter of course–I did, at least. Whereas its more common, I think, to leave tomatoes to ripen on the counter. If you want to read up on any particular fruit or veggie, see the fact sheets linked below.