Stuff White People Like: Cucumber Sandwiches?

In a typically thoughtful post about the way the commentariat is discussing Obama’s impact on America’s racial dynamics (seriously, go read it), Ta-Nehisi admits that he doesn’t get cucumber sandwiches, which apparently white people love.

My first reaction was on some Dave Chapelle: what the fuck is a cucumber sandwich? I want DRINK!

 How will we ever traverse this cultural gulf?

Belle over at examinedlife schooled us on the glory of the cucumber sandwich, to which Tedra also attests.

As to the first question, no harm will be done by continuing to think that white college kids throw some lame-ass parties. On the other hand, cucumber sandwiches really are delicious. Here’s how my grandmother, Janet Parsons Wainwright, aka “Nan” did it:

Cucumber Sandwiches:
Use peeled hothouse cucumbers, those thin-skinned ones, or if they are normal cucumbers, peel, cut in half, and remove the seeds and gelatinous middle bit with a spoon. Slice cucumbers paper-thin. Use Pepperidge Farm Very Thin White Bread, spread with Hellman’s mayonnaise. Lay the slices of cucumber down, top with fresh mint leaves, and add salt and freshly cracked ground pepper. Top with another slice, cut the crusts off after completion, and cut each sandwich into four triangles (now it feeds four times as many people!). You may wash this down either with iced tea with a splash of orange juice and fresh mint, or with Nannie’s traditional libation, a triple bourbon on the rocks.

UPDATE: if you want to take the sandwiches on a picnic you may substitute softened unsalted butter for the mayo, being careful to coat the bread thoroughly–that way they won’t get soggy.

Y’all lost me at mayonnaise, family.

Damn. Cucumber sandwiches, tho. What will white folks think up next?



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • Do it with butter if you must. But you know it’s good to be open to new traditions.

    Also, way to one-up me with a pretty picture.

  • Tasha

    They are really made of cucumbers!??! I thought it was just a name…

  • Tedra: butter and cucumber sandwiches? jesus christ, people. that sounds like some real roaches-in-the-cereal-box shit.

    Tasha, i understand your confusion. Finger sandwiches, I’m told, aren’t actually made of fingers.

  • quadmoniker

    I heard of such a thing once when I was a kid. I think I read it in a book. My mom told me those are the kinds of things people eat in places like Boston, and the people who eat them are the same kind of people who drink tea. In other words, not us then, and not me now. Poor white people, especially in the south, just go with the mayonnaise. MMMMMMM, mayonnaise sandwich. Part of me misses those days.

  • elliemaehoya

    Um… can I get some meat up on there? Then maybe I could work with it…

  • LH

    Cucumber sandwiches are to British culture as apple pie is to American culture. And they’re pretty tasty! LOL

  • No, no, think about it. It contains three of the four food groups: fat, carbs, and crunchy. What’s not to like?

  • @quadmoniker: mmm mayonnaise sandwich indeed! currently being poor and living in japan (you all thought white people loved their mayonnaise…), i’ve been eating a lot of those lately. and also just squeezing my mayonnaise out onto whole cucumbers and eating it like a corndog. fat carbs and crunchy indeed.

  • Big Word

    Add a lil swine and that sammich would be fine.

  • Tasha

    Big Word ~ you read my mind some bacon in that would be fabulous

    G.D ~ How did you know my next line of thinking…*searches her hamburger for ham*

  • Big Word

    Tasha: I live about 10 minutes from Mexcio and there is indeed “ham” on the burgers they sell over there, as well as a little fried egg and assorted sauces.

  • Are times really that hard that someone feels compelled to talk about a cucumber sandwich???? I know we’re paying $4.25 per gallon for gas, but hey, lets go with this one:

    I’d like to submit a recepie for watered-down cool-aid. Or, how about scrambled eggs and rice?

    One more, just remove the cucumbers and have a mayonaise sandwich.

    Spear me…

  • K: a mayonnaise sandwich? wtf?

  • There good. You serve them with tea…They’re pretty common down south.

    (Boy I really might

  • RenegadeBlade

    I fucks wit mayonnaise sandwiches even if the fridge full as hell wit all kinds of grub. I jus like en if da bread fresh and the mayo good brand.

  • tabitha

    the comments are nasty. mayo sandwiches? that just ain’t right. i fucks with cucumber sandwiches, though i’m prone to substitute the mayo for fresh hummus.

  • Missy

    I think that your blog title is funny: “Stuff White People like.” As if all white people collectivley love cucumber sandwiches. I am sure most caucasian Americans have never even heard of, let alone, tasted a cucumber sandwich. I wonder, if I had a blog about stuff that black people like, then how much backlash I would receive?

  • quadmoniker

    Stuff White People Like ( is actually a whole different blog that this blog has talked about, and is kind of poking fun at in this post. The man who started “Stuff White People Like” now has a book deal.

    And there are also “Stuff Black People Like” and “Stuff Latino People Like” blogs.

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  • Fandango

    GD you crack me up! I thought Cucumber sandwiches was a southern thing. We use to eat them all the time.

  • NYwhitegirl

    Not sure about cucumber sandwiches with mayo but my mom has a vegetable garden and cucumbers grow like crazy…

    Favorite summer sandwich as a kid
    lightly buttered bread, sliced skinned cucumber and a little salt


    lightly toasted bread, apricot jam and sliced skinned cucumbers

    mm…mm and I grew up in NY not down south or in the country, NYC!!

  • Ronata Stapel

    When I was a kid I loved mayo sandwiches…lol. I like cucumber sandwiches but traditionally in my family they are made with cream cheese.