Cucumbers and coolness are natural partners. Cucumbers must be kept cool, or they will quickly wilt to soggy limpness. Over-chilling or freezing, however, will reduce the inside of a cucumber to slush.
At the supermarket, cucumbers should be kept under refrigeration. At a farmers’ market or roadside stand, they should always be displayed in the shade. Hothouse cucumbers are usually sealed in a tight plastic wrapping.
No matter what kind you buy, look for cucumbers that are very firm and rounded right to the ends. Avoid any that have withered, shriveled tips. Although the overall size varies with the type, slender cukes typically have fewer seeds than thick or puffy ones.
Beware of cucumbers that bulge in the middle, since they are likely to be filled with large seeds and have watery, tasteless flesh. Waxed or not, cucumber skin should be a rich green—not extremely pale and definitely not yellow (except, of course, for lemon cucumbers). Watch out for bruises or dark spots.
How to store cucumbers at home
Store cucumbers in the refrigerator crisper. Uncut, waxed cucumbers will keep for about a week. Check unwaxed cukes every day or so and discard any that show signs of decay. Wrap cut cucumbers tightly in plastic wrap and use within a day or two of purchase.