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The Cucumber Sandwich

By by Leslie Geddes-Browne

The Cucumber Sandwich

Leslie Geddes-Brown argues that the merits of a good cucumber sandwich lie just as much in evoking Arcadian dreams of teas in the garden, as in making for a delicious snack.

I loathe sandwiches: messy, difficult to eat and filled with a variety of ingredients which hate each other.

But I would make an exception of the cucumber sandwich - despite Dr Jonshon's assertion that cucumber is best 'well sliced and dressed with pepper and vinegar and then thrown out as good for nothing'.

The cucumber sandwich is inextricably linked in people's minds with tea in the garden, preferably with Lapsang Souchong's tarry leaves in a Georgian silver teapot taken under a Lebanon cedar with a Palladian house as a backdrop (vicar optional).

Although they taste better this way, I would be happy with a neat pile on an office desk if sandwich bars could get them right.

The Perfect Cucumber Sandwich

The best cucumber sandwich is made with thinly sliced bread, crusts removed and lightly spread with salted butter.
The cucumber should be as fresh as possible, peeled, cut thinly (seeds removed if they are too big) then the rounds dunked quickly in white wine vinegar before being heaped on the bread.

Give a brief shake of salt over all and put on thelid, then cut into dainty quarters.

Serve on porcelain.

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