Quick Facts: Cucumber

• Cucumbers, or Cucumis sativus, are available year-round, but are at their peak from May through July.

• This fruit belongs to the same family as pumpkin, zucchini, watermelon and other types of squash, and commonly is mistakenly referred to as a vegetable.

• When selecting cucumbers, check that they are firm and rounded at the edges, and have bright-medium to dark-green skin color. Choose ones that are displayed in refrigerated cases, as they are sensitive to heat.

• Varieties grown to be eaten fresh are called slicers, while those intended for pickling are called picklers.

• The edible fleshy seeds have been known to cause some people to burp. Burpless varieties are available.

• The light green food makes a colorful decorative garnish that adds interesting texture to accompany main dishes.