These cucumbers are grown on vines that produce only female flowers. Since the flowers have no way to get knocked up they produce seedless fruit. Seeds are expensive because to produce them rare vines that have one or more male flowers must be found. Growing the vines take special care and even in California they are grown in hothouses.
They ars never waxed because with so thin a skin these cukes are normally not peeled. This makes them highly perishable due to dehydration and consequent rot. Southern California high volume produce markets sell them and call them "European Cucumber". Larger straighter varieties are shrink wrapped in plastic for longer shelf life so they can be shipped to distant markets and are called English Cucumbers.
The larger of the photo specimens was 13 inches long (uncurled) 1-3/4
inches diameter at the thickest point and wighed 10 ounces. Typical shrink
wrapped specimens are a little bigger but generally weigh less than a pound.
some people claim to be bothered by gas from regular cucumbers and the problem is said to originate from the seed mass. Since these have little seed mass they are called "Burpless". Personally, I eat piles of standard issue cucumbers without gas problems and haven't heard anyone else complain either - perhaps the English are "different"?
Because their seed mass is small and not watery the European cucumber is good for applications using whole slices such as sandwiches and salads. Since they are sold unwaxed, the skin can be left on or peeled decoratively to add visual appeal. The downside is that they have less cucumber flavor than the standard green blimps or pickling kerbeys and what flavor there is dominated by the skin.
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