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Cucumber: from aromatic water to tzatziki, a vegetable with a thousand benefits – Italian Cuisine

Cucumber: from aromatic water to tzatziki, a vegetable with a thousand benefits

Perfect for fighting dehydration and exhaustion, cucumber helps us on hot summer days. It helps our body because it is rich in mineral salts such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus and sodium, and it is also rich in vitamin C. And then it gives a special flavor to dishes

The cucumber is one of the main summer vegetables. With its taste to the tasteless appearance, it manages to give a touch of freshness to any recipe. And, be careful, if you believe it is good only for salads you are wrong: very versatile, it is suitable for enticing palates even in sauces and flavored waters. And then it is a mine of mineral salts and vitamins, precious for fighting exhaustion and dehydration, typical summer conditions.
Below are some ideas for using cucumber in the kitchen, recipes tested by La Cucina Italiana. In our gallery, instead, a deepening on the thousand benefits of this vegetable that must never be missing in the refrigerator.

The benefits of cucumber

Cucumber was already known since ancient times for its beneficial properties for health and beauty. Composed for almost all water, it contains very few calories (only 13 kcal per 100 grams!). Rich in mineral salts, such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus and sodium, it is also rich in vitamin C, protector of the immune system. Do you know why cucumber is recommended by many dieticians in slimming diets? For the presence of tartaric acid, able to prevent carbohydrates taken during a meal from turning into fat. Cucumber also has renowned purifying properties: for this reason it is advisable to add it to water, not only to flavor it, but also to make it more detoxifying. Can't digest it? The solution is: put it in salt for half an hour, cut into rounds. Then after rinsing it, it is ready for use.

Tzatziki sauce

Cucumber is one of the main ingredients of the Tzatziki sauce, typical condiment of Greek cuisine. Here's how to do it: after peeling a cucumber, grate it. Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic. To the two ingredients, add the yogurt and stir, until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and chopped dill, to give that extra touch of freshness. Serve with toasted bread or as a condiment for fish or meat.

Cucumber flavored water

As is known, in summer it is essential to drink at least two liters of water. Don't you often have the urge to thirst? Aromatize the water as follows: in a jug filled with mineral water, add a lemon or a lime cut into slices and half a cucumber, always cut into slices, but keeping the peel. To give an extra twist, also add a small piece of ginger root. Here is your purifying and energizing water.

Roll with cucumber and avocado

Have you ever tried your hand at preparing a hosomaki Japanese (small rice rolls with black seaweed outside)? These are vegetarians, filled with avocado and cucumber. First, cook the rice with 700 g of water: once boiled, let it rest with the lid lined with a cloth. Peel the daikon and cut it into sticks 20 cm long. Do the same with cucumbers and avocado, cut into slices. Spread the rice on a tray, season with 5 g of salt, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar. Now spread a nori seaweed on a cloth, then stuffed with a layer of rice, a daikon stick, one of cucumber and 3-4 slices of avocado, rolled tightly helping yourself with the cloth until obtaining a loaf to be cut in thick rounds 3-4 cm.

Cucumber and goat cheese rolls

Do you want an original idea, to read fresh, to bring to the table as an appetizer? Prepare some rolls of cucumber and goat cheese. Here's how: cut the cucumbers into thin slices lengthwise and boil them. Meanwhile, work the goat cheese in a bowl, adding chives and mint. Stuff the cucumber slices with a tablespoon of cream and wrap the roll. Season with an oil-based emulsion, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Cucumber, feta and watermelon salad

Cucumber is the king of salads summer. Here is an alternative and very refreshing, which also uses watermelon, to give a sweeter note. Peel the cucumbers and cut them into cubes, do the same for the watermelon, taking care to remove the seeds. Also cut the feta into cubes and add the three ingredients in a bowl, seasoning them with an emulsion of oil, salt and pepper.

A thousand dollars for the most stinking fruit in the world – Italian Cuisine

A thousand dollars for the most stinking fruit in the world

So much is the rarer variety of durian, considered a delicacy in much of Southeast Asia. Its price is equivalent to three times the average salary of a local resident

It costs three times the average salary of an Indonesian: the durian, considered the most stinking fruit of the way, in the variety "J-Queen", is sold to one thousand dollars (about 875 euros), in Indonesia. And its stratospheric price is triggering a series of controversies.

This rare variety of durian is sold in a shopping center in Tasikmalaya, west of the island of Java. It is packed in transparent boxes closed with a red satin ribbon and decorated with fake flowers. On the card the price is indicated: about 14 million rupees, when the average monthly salary in Indonesia, according to data from the Ministry of Labor, is about 3.94 million rupees.

Nobody buys it (it seems that only two have been bought, since it is on sale in the Plaza Asia shopping mall), but many locals go to the supermarket just to go a selfie together with the fruit, considered a delicacy in much of Southeast Asia.

The expensive "J-Queen" variety was developed by a 32-year-old Indonesian psychologist, Aka, who claims to have created a new and rare version of the durian crossing two superior varieties from different regions of Indonesia.

The "J-Queen" tree, he says, bears fruit only once every three years and its durians have a "taste of butter and peanuts". They are not oblong in shape, like the most common varieties, but round and golden yellow. "My intention was to improve the living conditions of farmers, creating top-level durians," Aka told the Indonesian news site Tribunnews, before revealing to have durian crops throughout Java. "I have it in Kendal, Pekalongan, Banyumas, Pangandaran and Gunung Tanjung, Manonjaya, Tasikmalaya."

The local farmers, however, say they have never heard of this supposedly unique variety, and confirm that the most rare and top quality Indonesian durians, the Montong and Kumbokarno varieties, they are normally sold for around 200,000 rupees, around 12.5 euros. Which for a fruit is not so bad.

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