Technically a fruit, the cucumber is commonly classified as a vegetable, much like tomatoes and squash. Cucumbers have a mild, refreshing flavor, and are available in a wide array of varieties, as well as shapes and sizes. Varieties are usually geared towards use – eating or pickling – and often dubbed simply slicing cucumbers or picking cucumbers. Recently, the US has been shifting its use of cucumbers from eating more pickles to eating more fresh cucumbers. In addition, the silica in cucumbers are vital components of connective tissue, which has given rise to a variety of topical uses on the skin (for example, on the eyes to reduce swelling). For more information on the Cello or Persian varieties, please see their respective pages.