If Canada were to hold a referendum on the nation’s favorite vegetable there’s little doubt cucumbers would be a strong candidate.

Canadians: cool as their favorite cucumbers

Fred Wilkinson
Food for Thought

Canadians love cucumbers.

According to statistics from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for field- and greenhouse-grown, the nation produced about 150,000 tons of cucumbers in 2005 and boasted a per capita fresh consumption of 7.5 pounds in 2004.

At the Quebec Produce Marketing Association’s Aug. 20-22 convention in Quebec City an interesting cucumber question arose: Will scrubbing the tip of a cucumber keep it from tasting bitter?

The query was part of a fruit and vegetable quiz presented by Julie DesGroseilliers, a dietitian and consultant to QPMA, during an industry brunch.

After a bit of snickering from the crowd and a couple of off-color references to cucumbers, the answer from DesGroseilliers was no, scrubbing a cucumber’s tip won’t keep it from tasting bitter.

Good thing we got that cleared up.

New cukes on the block

Cucumber-loving Canadians have a new snack option courtesy of Portneuf, Quebec-based Les Serres du St-Laurent Inc.

Canadians: cool as their favorite cucumbers

Courtesy Les Serres du St-Laurent Inc.

New snack packs from Portneuf, Quebec-based Les Serres du St-Laurent Inc.’s Savoura line feature 4 inch-long cucumbers, says director of sales and marketing Valerie Grenier. The mini cukes are available in three-packs and eight-packs.

Joining the company’s Savoura product line (which includes cucumbers and tomatoes produced in six greenhouses covering 18 hectares) are Savoura Lunch miniature cucumbers, said Valerie Grenier, director of sales and marketing.

A variety unique to Quebec and exclusive to Savoura in Canada, the cucumbers for the on-the-go snacks are harvested at a length of 4 inches.

They are grown in Danville in the Estrie region and are available year-round.

The three-packs retail for $1.49, and each packet delivers the equivalent of one serving of fruits and vegetables.

The cucumbers also are available in eight-packs retailing for $3.99.

They had their debut in April at the international food tradeshow SIAL Montreal.

The product was chosen as one of 10 finalists for the Trends & Innovations Award.

E-mail fwilkinson@thepacker.com

Have any thoughts about the Quebec Produce Marketing Association's convention? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.