Musing about cucumbers

I’m intrigued.

Why do you think that are cucumbers so expensive in France? Well over 1€ this week in France when they are only 29p this week in the UK.

Is the expense the reason why cucumber is not generally put into shop-made baguettes/sandwiches and restaurant salads in France when they are almost always added into ones in the UK?

Must admit, I looked at cucumbers (to have as a change) last week and thought again, due to the price.
but, of course, I normally buy local produce “in season” and it isn’t cucumber season here in France… thus the ones in the shops are either produced in expensively heated tunnels etc… and/or transported from afar…

So, I think I’ll wait until the local growers offer them. Hopefully, their price will be acceptable to my purse (as it has been in the past…)


Yes, for all the moaning in the UK about the cost of living, they don’t realise how cheap food is there compared to France. I have to buy cucumber for my guinea pig he loves it.

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Must confess that any shops selling cucumbers at 29p in April must be making their money by other means… unless the UK has suddenly got ideal weather for producing this popular salad crop for virtually nothing.

I reckon 29p/cucumber doesn’t leave much for the actual grower, when one has transports costs and the supermarket costs/profits to maintain…


No, cucumber in sandwiches is not a French thing, especially sliced with skin on :scream:. Cucumbers are peeled and made into their own salad.

They are a fast, water and labour intensive crop which suits UK low wage economy. And quite solid crop so less wastage.

Happy to buy French cucumbers in hope workers are paid properly, less happy to buy Spanish ones because of the water issue wrecking protected landscapes. And waiting for our own ones to germinate, which is cheapest option!


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Would you believe that the area around Almeria (main area for crops) is not only covered in polytunnels - but also has a desalination plant for the water needed?
Its mainly the tourist industry draining the spanish water supply along the coasts.

Leclerc are selling cucumbers x 2 for 1,49€ this week (page 4 of their catalogue) and the cucumbers are “origine France”

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But they have had tourism since the 60’s high time they got some more money from the EU and built some more resevoirs as they were pretty good at putting up main motorways and aiports to support tourism and exports.

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Quite possibly, but a tiny positive point. Hundreds of examples that show the opposite

We have been going to southern spain since the 70s. The number of hotels and holiday apartments has hone through at least 3 boom and bust cycles - only to cone back bigger. Without the amount of rain increasing spain choose yo do both, tourism and agriculture. As long as the customers want sand, sun and cheap food - the EU can finance reservoirs but cannot make it rain.
Climate change will move crops to a more suitable location, but tourists?

As sea water levels will rise then maybe we use more desalination and use up some of the excess?
Who knows long term what the situation will be but sourcing closer to home should be on the worlds agenda. Saw an advert for parmigano from italy but several UK cheese makers do a passable version without the miles.

France is the same I believe - the margins on most things taken on the product after it leaves the farmer seem eye-watering. Peak pricing applie by the supermarkets is about the price they can get. I don’t believe it goes back to the farmer - but I bet lower pricing in gluts does.

I feel physically sick when everything else i so expensive here to imagine the cruelty or at least indecency that must be inflicted on animals, seeing pork this week at 2.75 a kilo and chicken around 2.50.

Like the UK, France seems to promote this image of ‘green’ and fair agriculture in bucolic lands…I am beginning to suspect the distance from the truth is greater here than in the UK.

My farming neighbour sprays g*d knows what, the field I see is very overworked I think, each year fewer bees, snails, it’s harder to find earthworms, I am not sure any hedgehogs are left.


Thank you, Stella, for telling me about the promo. A friend’s young grandson is coming out today and his favourite food is cucumber :cucumber: I’m just messaging her now.

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Best Friends daughter no 2 is a Hydrologist (scottish oil industry) - one of very few countries in the world with a surplus of fresh water is Scotland. And will be for the forseeable? future.
Desalination will be the way to go and water re-use like Israel does.
And conservation as well as appropriate crops for the climate. Farmers have to adapt fast to survive - so do consumers. The times of cheap and plenty are truly over.

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I see the second one comes from Morocco, and the third from Belgium or France.

Got lots of cucumber seedlings on the go at the mo, staged apart. Should have lots of cucumber for the summer salads :slightly_smiling_face:


If you’d like to grow 'em, I’ll sneak by and snaffle 'em… :wink: :rofl:

Only joking, of course.
Cucumbers don’t play a big part in our diet, but they make a nice addition to a salad, from time to time in summer… as you suggest…

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:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: