They add nothing to food. In fact, they make food worse. Like WAY worse. Like "I'll-pass-on-food-forever-rather-than-eat-this" worse. And if they weren't bad enough on their own, they are made infinitely worse by the fact that they are constantly being snuck into other, perfectly acceptable foods. That's really the main problem with these horrible beasts - they assault you at every turn. Let's call it what it is: food torture.
Some of you are reading this thinking to yourselves, "C'mon, they're not that bad; you hardly notice them." WRONG. They are everywhere. And they taste awful. You DO notice them, and you know how I know?? Because they make every food I like taste disgusting.
And the REAL problem is you can't get away from them. Trying to tell a waiter not to put cucumber in your meal makes you feel like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli: no one is listening to you, and even if they are, they think you're crazy. So, to combat this problem, we few but strong-willed cucumber-hating pioneers are often forced tell those handling our food that we are allergic to them. BUT here's the rub: apparently, it is nearly impossible to be allergic to cucumbers. They are over 90% water (the remaining 10% consists of a combination of dirt, murdered dreams and wet dog smells, obviously). Which means that these plants have us caught between a rock and a hard place: we're forced to either swallow our pride, along with the cucumbers, or be unfairly deemed high-maintenance liars by waiters the world over.
While I could opine on this subject for hours, I will narrow my focus down to the top three foods cucumbers ruin for me on a daily basis:
Sushi. Over the years, sushi has become a regular in my food lineup. The best part about sushi is that it comes in a variety of flavors (much like ice cream but without the calories). Can't decide what type of fish you want for dinner? No problem - sushi, if you're unfamiliar with it, allows you to blend spices, flavor profiles and various types of proteins into bite-sized pieces of deliciousness that you can eat without ever really feeling full. So, in a word, sushi is spectacular. That is, sushi was spectacular. Until the day some bozo trying to make a name for himself starting telling everyone how much better sushi could be by adding some hideous, flavor-sucking vegetable to it (a la, The Emperor's New Clothes). Now these terrible things are used in sushi rolls to a) "cut" the spicy flavors or, what I now believe, b) preemptively ward off the run on sushi restaurants that would inevitably occur if cucumber was nowhere to be found.
Pickles. For those of you that don't know, pickles are actually gussied up cucumbers. However, and I can't stress this enough, they are not the same thing. They taste nothing alike, they look nothing alike and you certainly never hear of someone seeking out a cucumber at a state fair (Note: If you haven't been, state fairs are where everything delicious comes to play. Get thee to a state fair immediately...and bring me back a corn dog). Rather, pickles are cucumbers' hot cousins. They are briny, crunchy and could kick a cucumber's ass if they happened upon one in a dark alley. But the fact that they come from cucumbers truly ruins them for me. To steal a line from a well-known pontificator, learning that pickles actually come from cucumbers is like learning that the main singer in UB40 is just an old white guy. Once you learn that fact, there's really no going back.
Boom. Case closed. Cucumbers = Death. The guy who wrote Little Shop of Horrors gets it. You try telling me this man-eating plant doesn't have a cucumber as an ancestor somewhere in the family tree: