The humble cucumber is used as a vegetable and also for many beauty treatments. There is evidence to show that cucumber cultivation has been going on for more than 3,000 years. This vegetable originated in India, and was taken from there to Greece and Italy. Most probably the ancient Romans should get the credit for spreading the cucumber to other parts of Europe.
In the 14th century, cucumber made its appearance in England, and from here it was transported to North America by the middle of the 16th century. However, there are records to show that the ancient people from Ur and Gilgamesh regularly consumed cucumber. The plant was even cultivated in ancient China around the second century B.C. While the cucumber has been cultivated in Africa since the beginning of the Christian era.
According to the book, The Natural History of Pliny, written by Pliny, the Roman Emperor Tiberius used to consume cucumber with his meal all round the year. However, the cucumber described in the book is a smaller variety, and it is quite possible that this could have been a wild variety of cucumber.
King Louis XIV of France used to grow cucumbers in his vegetable garden. In fact, the king's Director of All Royal Fruit and Vegetable Gardens, Quintinie, used to grow cucumber using the same technique that was used for growing melons. The cucumbers were grown under glass, which used to capture the warmth of the sun and help the cucumber fruits to mature faster.
It was Christopher Columbus who introduced cucumber in Haiti in 1494; while Jacques Cartier gets the credit for introducing the fruit in Montreal, Canada, in 1535.
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