The Unexpected Substitute For Cucumber To Try In Your Next Salad

It's arguable that salad is one of the most versatile dishes ever invented. Look at it in contrast to the burger, a meal that is constricted to being made up of generally the same ingredients: bread, some kind of patty, maybe an extra dash of meat and cheese, vegetables, and a few drops of dressing.

Salads, though, are easy to make and have the freedom to be anything you want them to be – they truly encapsulate the brilliance of artistic creativity possible with food. Combining ingredients of any quantity, color, or flavor, salads can be a light snack or a hearty meal, stacked with meat or completely vegan, and carefree or traditional and reliable. Some folks would even argue that you can turn Snickers bars, Cool Whip, and apples into a so-called dessert salad, per MPR.

Fruits and vegetables are, of course, key components in traditional free salads – and cucumber is one of the country's most popular vegetables, according to a 2022 survey by YouGov America. Although falling slightly behind salad bastions such as potatoes, tomatoes, and lettuce, cucumber is still enjoyed by 76% of people. However, Fresh Plaza reports that the price of cucumbers has increased in different parts of the world due to a restriction in supplies. So what happens if you just can't get hold of one for your salad or are simply looking for an alternative? Fortunately, there's an unexpected player ready to take to the field.

The substitute has similarities and differences to cucumber

When Fresh Express commissioned a 2022 OnePoll survey on salad preferences, an impressive 62% of participants claimed salad to be an important part of their eating regime, reports SWNS. About 17% indicated that they use cucumbers. If you do, too, and want a change for your much-needed salad, are struggling to find a cucumber, or simply can't be bothered to go out and buy one, there is a handy alternative available: celery.

Even though cucumbers contain less excitement than a librarian's email inbox, they boast a refreshing and satisfying crunch that people can appreciate in a salad. Celery can offer that experience, too, argues Organic Facts. It also packs a satisfying crunch and even glows with the same irresistible hues of green.

Quite how the taste marries up though is questionable. BBC Good Food describes celery as having a mild flavor of pepper teamed with earthy undertones, which is a little more vibrant than cucumber. Price is another conflicting factor. Data from the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Resource Center data suggests that this year, as of January 13, celery often costs more per unit than cucumbers. So, while celery may rescue you in a salad emergency, it might not save you money compared to a cucumber.