I use cucumbers for one thing--Thai cucumber salad. It's a "fresh pickle" salad. The cucumbers are salted, wrung out, tossed with vinegar, sugar, hot pepper, green onion. I know very little about Asian vegetables or Asian cooking, but I love this salad.
The problem is that cucumbers are difficult to grow here in Florida. The worms get them. I garden organically, but I know people down here who use pesticides and still have worms attacking their cucumbers.
I was reading an heirloom gardening book and it said that something called the "burr gherkin" or "West Indian Gherkin" was often grown along with cucumbers in the old days because worms and other pests hardly bothered it. If the cucumbers were ruined, you still had the gherkins for pickles. I haven't tried these. Have any of you?
Are there other hardy vegetables that can be used like cucumbers--especially in Thai cucumber salad?
In my gardening book, bitter melon is also called "Chinese Cucumber." Are varieties of bitter melon really used like cucumbers?