Joe Sugg tells Dianne Buswell to be ‘careful’ peeling cucumber
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Cucumbers need to be used quickly to enjoy them at their best, which is usually around two weeks after purchase. The soft, watery flesh can become unpleasant after this short window if the fruit is stored incorrectly, so what’s the best method to keep your cucumbers fresher for longer? Express.co.uk reveals the clever hack that you should always use.
How to store whole cucumbers
The hard outer skin of cucumbers may seem like good protection for the soft flesh, but it can become easily damaged by the weight of other produce.
While a large, cold drawer in the fridge is often the go-to place for storing this healthy fruit, it won’t do any favours for maintaining its unique texture.
Instead, John Amann, co-chef of Castle Hot Springs in Arizona recommended leaving plenty of room for the fruit to stay fresh.
Speaking to MarthaStewart.com, he said: “The key is to let them breathe”.
Mr Amann explained that the best way to do this is to store fresh cucumbers in a covered, but not airtight container.
The container should be lined with a clean paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
He said: “Keep in mind this vegetable will sweat once refrigerated and the liquid can pool up.
“Any direct contact with water will shorten your cucumber’s life span.”
How to store cut cucumbers
Like most foods, cucumbers will decline more quickly once they have been cut.
In most cases, you may notice the exposed core drying out and leaving a wrinkled effect around the dark outer coating.
This dried end can be easily sliced off, but how can you preserve the rest of the fruit?
According to Mr Amann, this all depends on how the cucumber has been cut.
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For half a cucumber, you should wrap the entire thing in cling film or the plastic wrap it may have been sold in.
Place it back in the container and leave in the fridge for up to one week, after which it will begin to soften and have an “undesirable texture”.
Salt will also work well for the remaining chunk of a cut cucumber.
Simply roll the fruit in a thin layer of coarse salt before placing it back in the fridge.
Thinly sliced cucumber rounds or chunks should be coated in a flavoursome dressing to keep them fresher for longer.
Balsamic vinegar, sweet honey and mustard or even a French dressing will work well here – just make sure there is an acidic ingredient to preserve the cucumber.
Always keep cucumbers towards the front of your fridge to avoid freezing.
Because of their high water content, the soft fruit can go extremely mushy when thawed, so it is crucial to keep them cool, but not frozen.
You’ll know when to discard a mushy cucumber as it will be difficult to pick up.
If one part of a cucumber has gone overly soft, it can be cut off in order to salvage the rest of the crunchy fruit.
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