Definition of a Cucumber Sandwich
"The traditional cucumber sandwich is composed of paper-thin slices of cucumber placed between two thin slices of crustless, lightly buttered white bread."
Traditional Cucumber Sandwich:
"As the thinness of the bread is a point of pride in the kitchen, a dense-textured white Pullman loaf is cut with a wide-bladed knife, which guides the cut; daylight should pass through the resulting fine pores." "The cucumbers, if sliced thin enough, should permit a newspaper column-heading to be read through one." "The peel of the cucumber is either removed or scored lengthwise with a fork before the cucumber is sliced, and the slices are dried gently with a paper towel before use." "The slices of bread are carefully buttered all the way to the edges in the thinnest coating, which is only to protect the bread from becoming damp with cucumber juice, and the slices of cucumber, which have been dashed with salt and lemon juice, are placed in the sandwich just before serving in order to prevent the sandwich from becoming damp enough to moisten the eater's fingers." "The crusts of the bread are cut away cleanly and the sandwich sliced diagonally twice, creating four small triangular tea sandwiches."
"The traditional cucumber sandwich is of British origin." "Modern variants (largely of American origin) exist, involving cream cheese, chopped dill or spices, brown bread, salmon, and even bread with crusts left intact." "One specific American variant includes benedictine, a green soft spread based on cucumbers and cream cheese." "British cucumber sandwich enthusiasts conventionally frown on these variants and many would not consider the modern variants to be variants at all, but simply a different sandwich."
"Cucumber sandwiches are most often served for a light snack or at afternoon Tea, a formal light meal served at four in the afternoon or early evening before the main supper." "In addition, cucumber sandwiches are supposed to be served in the tea break at club cricket matches in England." "Due to English influence on Indian culture, in India, cucumber sandwiches are popular during cricket matches and weekend picnics." "The Indian variant is flavoured with green chutney, and sometimes contains slices of boiled potatoes."
"Because of cucumber's cooling nature, cucumber sandwiches are often eaten in the summer months or in warmer climates, such as in parts of India."
Cucumber Mint Tea Sandwich Recipe
1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled and very thinly sliced (about 32 slices)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, rinsed and chopped fine
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
16 slices best-quality white bread
Salt to taste
In a small bowl, mix mint, butter, and cream cheese; spread on one side of each slice of bread. Lay cucumber slices onto the buttered side of 8 slices of bread. Sprinkle with salt. Top with the remaining slices of bread, buttered side down.
Carefully cut the crusts from each sandwich with a sharp knife. Cut the sandwiches in half diagonally and then cut in half again.
Yields 8 whole sandwiches or 16 halves or 32 fourths.
The term "high tea" in the United States