(* Note: The letter Ç in Turkish makes a “ch” sound as in chips, and köy is roughly pronounced “coy”.) Çengelköy is a neighborhood on the Asian shore of the Bosphorous Strait, a bustling waterway plied by passenger ferries and fishing boats, which cleaves the city of Istanbul in two. Now known for historic wooden seaside mansions, cozy tea gardens, friendly stray cats and a relaxed atmosphere, this area was once rich in market gardens producing this cucumber and other produce for Istanbul’s markets. Typically harvested when rather small, in the 4-5” range, it is light green and sweet with a wholesome crunch, bright flavor and very few seeds. The plants are uniform and productive, putting out loads of straight, skinny cucumbers that have long been a crowd-pleaser. Çengelköy is excellent for pickling and general snacking, but most importantly for preparing a simple Turkish breakfast with your friends on a ferry as you dream of Istanbul: “I’m pretty sure it was a cucumber, a crunchy çengelköy cucumber, that hooked me on Istanbul. That cuke - allied with a briny slab of feta-like beyaz peynir cheese, crinkly olives, and simit, a dense sesame-crusted bread ring – was my breakfast on a windswept deck of a commuter ferry crossing the Bosphorous…” – Anya von Bremzen, Saveur 2016. Dr. Mehmet Öztan of Two Seeds in a Pod seed company introduced this variety to the U.S. market a few years ago through his catalog, which specializes in heirloom Turkish varieties. He graciously shared seed with us so that this important variety can be grown by more farmers and gardeners. Thanks, Mehmet!
65-70 days. UO
Packet: 1g (40-45 seeds)