Cool as a Cucumber

Eat Your Vegetables Day

Jun 17

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Crocodile Day
Crocodile Tears
Eat Your Vegetables Day
Cool as a Cucumber
Show More

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young? Who is coming to tea?" ~Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Cool as a Cucumber

A vegetable with both famous historical devotees and detractors, the cooling cucumber has inspired its own phrase, "cool as a cucumber" first recorded in 1732 in John Gay's comic ballad "A New Song of New Similes" and a namesake dance.

Some interesting historical facts about cucumbers include the following:

  • Ancient Egyptians enjoyed a drink made from fermented cucumber.

  • The great mathematician Pythagoras  favoured a cucumber salad with raisin-coriander vinaigrette

  • The Roman Emperor Tiberius grew cucumbers in carts; he used his slaves to wheel them around to catch the sun.

  • Ruralia Commoda, a manual written in Latin between 1304 and 1309 suggested that cucumbers shake with fear at the sound of thunder!

In 1775, Dr. Samuel Johnson published his "Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland," which recorded his visit with his friend James Boswell.  A lover of good food, he claimed whilst in the Hebrides, "A cucumber should be well sliced and dressed with pepper & vinegar & then thrown out, as good for nothing."

 

And if like Dr. Johnson, cucumber salad (or even cucumber sandwiches) is not to your liking, click the Cucumber Mint Sparkler for a cool drink made with lime juice, Prosecco or champagne, vodka, cucumbers and mint syrup, the Cucumber-Mint Sparkler.

Cool as a Cucumber
Cool as a Cucumber

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The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the

 

Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

Scottish Country Dancing Database 

 

Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

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