Written by garden volunteer, Sarah Nicholl-Carne
Many people ask, quite reasonably, “What’s a Snozzcumber?” Obviously, they haven’t been reading their Roald Dahl books; specifically The BFG. The Big Friendly Giant of the title, unlike his fellow giants, refuses to eat children and ‘human beans’, and his only other option in Giant Country is the Snozzcumber. Described as between nine and twelve feet long, with wart-like growths and a repulsive flavour, luckily, they don’t exist. Instead, the Fulham Palace vinery grows several varieties of delicious, sweet cucumbers, and some are turned into Snozzcumber Pickle.
Snozzcumber Pickle was invented in 2015. Now, unbelievably, in its 7th season, it is available on the barrow in Fulham Palace’s walled garden. It has gathered quite a following, and people often ask when it will next be for sale, but that depends on the harvest from the vinery. Back in 2015, one of the garden apprentices found a huge cucumber, which had been growing, overlooked, at the back of the Vinery. It was as long as his arm and he announced “I think it’s a Snozzcumber!”. He asked if there was anything I could make out of it, and Snozzcumber was born. Naturally, the recipe is top secret, but labelling regulations mean that all ingredients are listed on the front of each jar. Cucumber, onion, vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, cloves and turmeric.
Snozzcumber pickle goes brilliantly with Cheddar and other cheeses, as well as cold meat, pork pies and will liven up a salad with its combination of crunch and flavour. It makes a lovely memento of Fulham Palace’s superb walled garden and is an unusual gift too. Stock up soon; the cucumber season only lasts for a few weeks.