Some of my friends, that have had an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this version of Spice University, have questioned my sanity at including so many foods that they had previously considered vegetables. I assure you these are all herbs and many have been considered as such for hundreds if not thousands of years. The cucumber is one of them. It is believed that the cucumber originated in northern India at least 3000 years ago. It is mentioned in the Bible as one of the luxuries that the Israelites missed while wandering in the dessert following their exodus from Egypt. It has long been praised for its cleansing and recuperative powers for the skin, especially the face & eyes. The cucumber is rich in vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin C, small amounts of vitamin B complex, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. These are concentrated in or near the green skin, so if you are after the nutrients, it would be best to eat them unpeeled and raw. Cooking cucumbers destroys the potassium and phosphorus. Cucumbers are a very popular condiment added to salads.