I picked up lunch at Whole Foods, and as I was making my salad, noticed something I've noticed many times before: The cucumbers had clearly been sliced by hand (or at any rate were intended to appear to have been): they were an arbitrary range of thicknesses in the 1/4 to 3/4 inch range Which for at least the past ten years has been what I usually find at salad bars, and always leaves me wondering
Why? Why, when there are a variety of readily available implements for slicing cucumbers (1) to a uniform thickness and (2) much more quickly than can be done with a knife, slice them by hand? Do they imagine customers will look at the random thicknesses and go Oh, hand-work! That's class, that is?
If so, why hand-slice them so thick? Surely one can at least take from the fact that the various popular vegetable slicers produce slices far closer to 3/16 inch than 3/4 a hint that people probably prefer thinner slices?
Since I was at Whole Foods rather than a restaurant, and was buying a salad to take home, I resolved this annoyance as I usually do in that circumstance: I went to the other side of the store and bought a cucumber to slice uniformly and thinly into my salad. Which left me wondering something else I've often wondered: Why are cucumbers (and as far as I can tell, only cucumbers, sometimes sold in the produce section, set out in a bin like any other vegetable — but individually wrapped in plastic?